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1888 Lord Stanley Cabinet Card (of "Stanley Cup" Fame)
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,185
While few hockey fans will recognize the gentleman pictured on this rare nineteenth-century cabinet card, his name today is virtually synonymous with the game: Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, or as he is titled here on this card: "Lord Stanley of Preston/Governor-General of Canada," It was Stanley, in 1893, who began the tradition of awarding a trophy cup to Canada's top-ranked amateur hockey team. Later, in 1915 it was awarded to the winner of the championship series between two professional leagues, the National Hockey League and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. Finally, in 1926, "The Stanley Cup" became the official championship trophy of the NHL, with the tradition continuing to this day. Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, known as Lord Stanley of Preston after 1886, was an English politician who later served as the sixth Governor General of Canada, from 1888 to 1893. He was also an avid sportsman and it was his love of the game of hockey which motivated him to present the Stanley Cup in 1893. In 1946 Stanley was elected to the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame. The offered cabinet card, produced by the H. Shorey & Co. in "Autumn 1888," as noted on the reverse, pictures Stanley during his first year as Governor General of Canada. This is the only cabinet card we have ever seen of Stanley, let alone offered. As a point of reference, in our May 2013 auction we sold a CDV of Stanley (Lot 1590) that realized a final sale price of $1,540. The photo displays a tiny speck of discoloration along the left border and is in Excellent condition overall. There is a 1.25-inch diagonal crease in the lower right corner of the mount (possibly a tear that has been repaired), otherwise in Very Good to Excellent condition, with some of the gilt-stamped lettering on the front and back slightly faded. This is a very rare and significant cabinet card relating to the history of hockey and the birth of the Stanley Cup. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,185
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