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Lot # 17 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1870 Philadelphia Athletics BBC Team CDV

Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $11,163

Graded EX/NM 80 by SGC. Extremely rare team composite CDV featuring portraits of the 1870 Philadelphia Athletics. This is a particularly extraordinary example, very likely the finest example in existence, of one of the most significant of all nineteenth-century CDVs. This card is a new discovery. It was the only baseball card in an extensive original CDV photograph collection of various subjects that has been carefully preserved in an album since 1870. Decades ago, the CDV collection found its way into the hands of our consignor, a woman in Florida who is a noncollector but has always had a great interest in early photography. It was exciting for us to tell her that her one and only baseball card was one of the finest examples in the world of one of nineteenth-century baseball-card collecting's greatest treasures. The 1870 Athletics were one of the top teams of the era before the formation of the National Association in 1871. The card features ten identified player portraits in ovals, including A. J. Reach (at 11:00). In addition to his later prominence as baseball executive and entrepreneur, Al Reach was one of the top players in the game in the 1860s and early 1870s, and is credited by many as being the first professional baseball player. Also featured on this team is Dickie McBride (center), perhaps the greatest pitcher of the National Association, and Harry Schaefer, as well as George Bechtel, Thomas Berry, Count Sensenderfer, Fergy Malone, Wes Fisler, Tom Pratt, and John Radcliff. This is, with few exceptions, the very same team that won the championship of the National Association in the inaugural season. The "universe" of CDVs featuring significant pre-1871 teams is very small, consisting of perhaps as few as ten different cards. The 1870 Athletics CDV is one of the few, and one of the most significant. Produced by photographer John L. Gihon of Philadelphia (812 Arch Steet), with advertising on front and reverse in red. The photo quality of the portraits is bold and flawless. Name identifications are all perfect and bold (though the type is very small, as made). Perfectly clean, both front and back. There is one small area with a slight hint of foxing. The condition of the card approaches perfection and it has been conservatively graded EX/NM 80 by SGC, which is remarkable for an 1870 CDV. This is an extraordinary card of one of the most important teams of the era, that would be a highlight in any collection, and that is one of the very few cards ever produced featuring Al Reach as a player. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,163

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