Exceedingly rare large-format team composite featuring portraits of the Chicago White Stockings of the National League from 1888. This is the only example of this large team composite we have ever seen! The fourteen players pictured here, all of whom are identified in print below their respective images, are Cap Anson, Tommy Burns, Jimmy Ryan, Fred Pfeffer, Duke Farrell, Marty Sullivan, Tom Daly, Dell Darling, Mark Baldwin, Gus Krock, Bob Pettit, Silver Flint, Mark Van Haltren, and Ned Williamson. Although no year is listed, this piece can be conclusively dated to 1888, as it was the only season in which team members Marty Sullivan and Duke Farrell played together for Chicago. These same exact portrait images can be found on an equally rare 1888 Chicago White Stockings team cabinet card issued by the J. K. Stevens Photography Studio of Chicago. In the absence of any photographer's credit, we can only assume that the J. K. Stevens Studio was also responsible for this magnificent large-format example as well. (An example of that 1888 White Stockings team cabinet appeared as Lot 1790 in our May 2013 auction, where it realized $3,851.) It is possible that the photo, which is mounted on a thick cardboard backing (8.5 x 10.75 inches) is slightly trimmed, but aside from that, and some minor toning, the piece remains in Excellent to Mint condition. It is housed in what appears to be its original wood frame with an oval mount. (There are vintage pencil notations on the back of the piece that pertain to the framing and specifically mention the use of an oval mount.) This is a very attractive and extremely rare nineteenth-century large-format team photo featuring one of the most prominent teams of the era, including Cap Anson. Total dimensions: 15.25 x 17.25 inches. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).
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