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Circa 1887 Gray Studios Cabinet Connie Mack - N172 Old Judge Proof
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,666
Extremely rare, possibly unique, and simply extraordinary N172 Old Judge "proof" cabinet card of Hall of Famer Connie Mack produced by Gray Studios (1068 and 1070 Tremont St., Boston, Mass.). This amazing photographic cabinet card dates from Mack's playing days as a catcher with the Washington Nationals. Mack is pictured in a batting stance as he waits for an incoming pitch. This is the very same image which appears on his 1887 N172 Old Judge card (pose #285-3). There are only three poses of Connie Mack in the Old Judge set. All are rare and understandably very highly prized by collectors. There is, however, no N173 Old Judge cabinet card of Mack featuring this pose, making this card of even greater note. As part of the production process for the N172 set, Goodwin & Co. would contract with various photographers to obtain original negatives from staged photo shoots done in their studios. Gray Studios was a particularly popular partner as they produced photos for seven of the eight National League teams, including the Washington Nationals (the New York Giants were photographed by Carroll Studios of New York). "Proof" cabinets, which feature the image on a mount with advertising for the studio in the lower margin, were produced by the studio and often given to players, family, or made available to the public as a means of advertising. This is a newly discovered cabinet and the first studio proof of Connie Mack we have ever seen. Discovered by our consignor in rural Nebraska (that is NOT a misprint!), this cabinet was reported to be part of a nineteenth-century photographer's collection which included various types of subjects and had been kept intact for over a century before being recently broken up and dispersed into the collecting world. Condition: The image of Mack displays strong contrast throughout and is entirely bright and clean. Minor chipping is present around the edges. The wear on the left edge has advanced enough to cause a clean detachment of the lower left corner, which remains with the card and could be professionally reattached if desired. Mack's name is written in ink at the top of the blank reverse (a common practice on these studio proofs) with two lines of pencil reading "cousin of/Wm. Pollock" underneath. Research by our consignor turned up a possible relationship between Connie Mack and Pollock in the Morning World Herald from 1908, which references the September 18 wedding between William Pollock and a Miss Edna Mack in Omaha, Nebraska. One never knows where a truly exciting nineteenth-century baseball find will surface. Nebraska hasn't had many, but makes up for it with this remarkable discovery! 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 trading-card sets, the N172 Old Judge series, featuring Hall of Famer Connie Mack. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,666
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