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1885 Brooklyn Base Ball Club Imperial Display Team Photograph
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $14,220
Extremely rare and substantial large-format Imperial display team photograph (14.75 x 11 inches) capturing fourteen members of the 1885 Brooklyn Grays, members of the American Association, as they pose together on the field in the area of home plate. This photographic display was obviously produced at great expense (very possibly for presentation to the players). Adding to the appeal of the composition of the photo is the fact that various pieces of equipment can be seen displayed in front of the team, including a catcher's mask and chest protector, and a number of bats. All of the players have been identified in print along the base of the mount: John Cassiday, Henry Porter, John Harkins, Ed Swartwood, Bill Phillips, Adonis Terry, Jim McTamany, Charlie Robinson, Pete Hotaling, Bill McClellan, Dave Oldfield, Germany Smith, George Pinkney, and Jimmy Peoples. Additional lettering on the mount includes the team name ("Brooklyn Base Ball Club"), the year ("1885"), and the name of the photographer ("J. W. Bruce"). Brooklyn was a member of the American Association from 1884 to 1890. Despite a sixth-place finish in 1885, pitcher Henry Porter distinguished himself by winning 33 games (third-best total in the league) in 54 starts, including 53 complete games. Baseball photos of this quality and size, let alone team photos of major league clubs, dating from the 1800s are exceedingly rare. This is the only example of an 1885 Brooklyn team photo we have ever seen. The photo, which is affixed to a large cardboard mount (17 x 14 inches), has slightly light contrast and moderate foxing, but still displays beautifully. A few tiny edge tears are evident along the left border. In Very Good condition overall. The Imperial photograph mount has a few areas of light foxing and minor creasing. Beautifully matted and framed to total dimensions of 24 x 21 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $14,220
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