1889 Boston Base Ball Club Imperial Team Cabinet Photo with King Kelly

Sold For: $3,600

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1779

Item Year: 1889

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Spectacular imperial team cabinet photo of the 1889 Boston Beaneaters posing together on field at the South End Grounds. Fifteen team members are featured here, including manager Jim Hart (formal attire, seated in the center) and Hall of Famers Mike "King" Kelly (second row, third from the right), John Clarkson (second row, third from the left), Charles "Hoss" Radbourn (second row, second from the left), and Dan Brouthers (top row, third from the left). This is one of only a few examples of this particular 1889 Boston imperial cabinet we have ever seen, and the first we have offered. The mount has been trimmed along the base, so that only the "1889" copyright and a slight portion of the title can be read. However, we know from other examples we have seen that the title reads "Boston Base Ball Club/Season 1889" and credit for the piece goes to noted Boston photographer G. Waldon Smith. The photo (16.5 x 13 inches) displays light toning throughout, as well as a slightly darker line of toning running through the center. Outstanding clarity throughout. The mount (20 x 16 inches) is trimmed along the base; otherwise it displays moderate wear, including corner chips along the top, small edge tears, and a few light stains. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This is an outstanding nineteenth-century team cabinet, the size and nature of which are exceeding rare, especially those featuring such prominent Hall of Fame players. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+.

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