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Lot # 6 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1879 Chicago Team Composite Cabinet with Cap Anson - Newly Discovered Example!

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $7,800

Exceedingly rare team cabinet card capturing eleven members of the 1879 Chicago White Stockings, including Cap Anson. This is the first example of this extraordinary Chicago team cabinet we have ever handled. Each of the formally attired players is pictured in a bust-length image and has been identified in print atop his respective photo. The players represented here are Cap Anson, Silver Flint, Terry Larkin, John Peters, Joe Quest, Ned Williamson, Abner Dalrymple, George "Orator" Shaffer, Frank Hankinson, George Gore, and Bill Harbridge. The name of the photographer, "Robinson 77 Clark St., Chicago," and the caption, "Chicago's 1879," are both printed along the base of the mount.

This card is part of an exciting new find of nineteenth-century cabinet cards that just recently surfaced. This card (along with the two other cards that comprise this small but extraordinary find) has for decades been in the possession of a noncollector's family. (Note: the 1878 Boston team cabinet card offered in this auction is one of the other cards; the third is being saved for the next auction.) The only time these cards have even had a "brush" with the modern collecting world was in 1989, when members of the family, curious as to what the cards were and if they had any value, decided to have them appraised. Because they lived in California, they brought them to Richard Wolffers Auctions in San Francisco and were told by a representative of the company that the cards were valuable and worth thousands of dollars. At that time, the owner decided not to sell them and instead gave them to her grandson, a young 8-year old collector who was passionate about baseball, with instructions to keep them in a safe deposit box at the bank. The grandson, our consignor, has now decided that the time has come to sell them.

As noted earlier, we have never handled this particular cabinet card before, but apparently a few others are known (or at least images of others). Two different examples of this cabinet card are pictured on the Getty Images website. (Images of either of those two examples can also be seen on a few baseball-related websites as well.) However, it is obviously extremely rare, and we have never seen another example at public auction. The photo, which offers exceptional clarity, displays two tiny linear indentations on the image of Hankinson in the lower right (only visible when viewed at certain angles), otherwise it remains in Near Mint condition, looking much as it did the very day it was produced. The mount (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays minor handling wear along the borders, including a few light creases in the lower right corner and is in exceptionally fine Excellent condition overall. It should be mentioned that this card is in far better condition than either of the other two examples pictured on the Getty Images website and is almost certainly the finest example extant. This is a remarkable cabinet card in all respects and one that would be a significant highlight in even the most advanced nineteenth-century collection. SOLD FOR $7,800

(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)