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Lot # 294 (of 1336)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

The Original Glass Negative Used to Produce Walter Johnson's 1915 Cracker Jack Card

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,400

The 1915 E145 Cracker Jack baseball cards are universally recognized as one of the most classic and highly regarded baseball card sets ever produced. Offered here is one of the most unique items we have ever seen, let alone offered, related to that iconic issue: the original glass negative used for Walter Johnson's 1915 Cracker Jack card #57. This image was taken by noted Chicago photographer Francis Burke, who is responsible for many of the most memorable baseball photos we have today from baseball's dead-ball era. Burke was Chicago's preeminent baseball photographer at the time, which is why he was chosen by the Chicago-based company of Rueckheim Brothers & Eckstein (the firm changed its name to the Cracker Jack Co. in 1922) to supply it with images for its Cracker Jack cards. In addition to Johnson, Burke supplied the company with images for many of the most celebrated players in the set, including Napoleon Lajoie, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner. This very glass negative was on the field with Walter Johnson in legendary photographer Francis Burke's camera when Burke created the image used for Johnson's Cracker Jack baseball card! This is a unique piece - literally - as it is one-of-a-kind. Unlike photographic prints that are created from glass negatives, there is only one glass negative. This is an extremely significant and fascinating piece, both as a baseball photography item, and as a unique production-related item from the Cracker Jack card series. This is one of four such original glass negatives offered in this auction, each as its own lot, all of which were produced by Francis Burke. Please note: only the glass negative is offered in this lot. The positive image and corresponding Cracker Jack card pictured in both the catalog and on our website are for illustrative purposes only. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,400


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