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Lot # 79 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Carte-De-Visite

Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $26,100.00

Extraordinary team composite carte-de-visite featuring the first professional baseball team - the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. This extremely rare style CDV features eight identified oval portraits of players in street clothes surrounding a larger photo of team captain Harry Wright in uniform in the center. The surrounding players, each identified under their oval photos, are G. Wright, Gould, Waterman, Allison, Brainard, McVey, Leonard and Sweasey. Photographer D. R. Town, Rockford, Ills. is marked along the bottom on the front. It is interesting to note that photographer D. R. Town also produced other CDV cards featuring baseball subjects during this era. The reverse of the card is blank. This is an extremely rare 1869 Reds CDV, far rarer than the traditional CDV and trade card team pose usually seen. In fact, in 35 years we have seen exactly three examples of this card. One example was offered several years ago and was trimmed. The other appeared as Lot 799 in the 1991 Copeland auction at Sotheby's, where it sold for $11,000. When offered in the Copeland sale, it was at that time the only example known. This third example is a very recent find. It was discovered by a non-collector in Florida in an album of approximately 100 period CDVs of various subjects. This was the only baseball-related card in the album. This example is by far the finest of the three known. The Copeland example, as can be seen in the Sotheby's catalog photo, was somewhat faded. The photo quality of the newly discovered example is extraordinary, displaying superb clarity and contrast. The players' names below the portraits are all perfectly legible. There is a slight crease in the upper left corner (affecting the photo surface only, not the mount), otherwise the card is in Near Mint condition with a clean reverse. This is a spectacular newly discovered example of one of the nineteenth century's rarest and most important cards, featuring baseball's first professional team, the legendary 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$10,000. SOLD FOR $26,100.00

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