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Lot # 26 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1887 Hastings Cabinet Card - Mike "King" Kelly

Starting Bid - $2,500.00 , Sold For - $17,625.00

Graded EX+ 70 by SGC. Absolutely stunning Hastings studio portrait cabinet card of Mike "King" Kelly dating from his inaugural season in Boston. This is an extraordinary card on many counts. G. H. Hastings of Boston was one of the premier baseball photographers of the nineteenth century. In 1887 the Chicago White Stockings sold the contract of future Hall of Famer Mike “King” Kelly to the Boston Beaneaters for the then unheard of sum of $10,000, and there was naturally much fanfare upon Kelly's arrival in Boston. This formal studio portrait was produced when Kelly joined the Boston Nationals in 1887, and was designed with the identification of his name and team, as well as the date, on the cabinet-card mount. This was a very unusual practice for studio portrait cabinet cards of this era, and strongly suggests that this cabinet-card design was produced for distribution to the public. The only other portrait cabinet card of Kelly that we can recall with his identification as part of the design of the card is the extremely rare N173 Old Judge cabinet portrait card, of which there are only three or four examples known. This incredible card is of a similar rarity. The cabinet card, produced by famed Boston photographer G. H. Hastings, captures the debonair Kelly in formal attire as he poses in a studio setting. “M. J. Kelly – Boston Base Ball Club” is lettered along the mount, as is Hasting’s name, business address, and the copyright date (“1887”). This is one of the finest portrait cabinet cards of any Hall of Famer player we have ever seen, let alone of Mike "King" Kelly, one of the most celebrated and legendary stars in the history of the game. The cabinet card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) is in virtually perfect condition, of exceptional quality, with perfect clarity and contrast. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $17,625.00

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