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1886 N172 Old Judge "Brownie Champs" Proof Cabinet Card: Rudy Kemmler
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $4,500
Extremely rare, possibly unique, and simply extraordinary N172 Old Judge "proof" cabinet card of St. Louis catcher Rudy Kemmler produced by Fischer Studios (Cor. Ninth & Franklin Ave., St. Louis, MO.). Kemmler is pictured in portrait format, wearing the characteristic pillbox hat and uniform of the St. Louis Browns. This is the very same image which appears on his 1886 N172 Old Judge Brown's Champions card (pose #258-1). The N172 Old Judge "Brownie Champs" subset, featuring portraits of members of this legendary championship team, has always been highly prized by collectors. As part of the production process for the N172 set, Goodwin & Co. would contract with various photographers to obtain original images from staged photo shoots done in their studios. Fischer Studios photographed the St. Louis Browns in 1886 for issue by Goodwin & Co. "Proof" cabinets, which feature the image on a mount with advertising for the studio in the lower margin, were produced by the studio, and, in addition to being provided to Goodwin & Co. or other companies for their commercial use, were often given to players, family, or made available to the public as a means of advertising. Condition: The cabinet has remained in extraordinary condition, bright and clean with tremendous contrast throughout. The blank reverse features the pencil-written name of the player at top, along with "Clipper" in ink alongside it. The cabinet was likely mounted inside an album at one point as adhesive and album residue are visible at the bottom. Accompanying the cabinet is an example of the issued Brown's Champions card (spelled "Kemler" on the card). Bright and crisp with strong contrast as well, the card appears Excellent at first glance but is neatly trimmed along the bottom in addition to a small surface imperfection in the center of the card, but ideal as an accompaniment for display with the matching proof cabinet. This is an extremely fascinating and significant nineteenth-century cabinet card with a clear relationship to one of the most classic and desirable of all nineteenth-century sets, the N172 Old Judge series, accompanied by an example of the corresponding final-issue card. Total: 2 items.
The items in this lot are part of the deaccessioned property of a prominent northeast museum which has selected Robert Edward Auctions to handle the sale of donated sportscards and memorabilia in an effort to fund purchases more in line with the mission and goals of the museum. SOLD FOR $4,500
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