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Circa 1893 Cleveland Spiders Cupid Childs Cabinet Card - "Just So Tobacco" Card Related and Once Owned By Cy Young!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,280
This extraordinary circa 1893 cabinet photo of Cleveland Spiders infielder Cupid Childs has the special provenance of having once resided in the personal collection of Hall of Fame pitcher Cy Young, who was Childs' teammate from 1891 to 1898. This is one of seven nineteenth-century cabinet photos belonging to Young that first came to auction in August 2014 (at SCP Auctions). All seven cabinet cards were originally mounted in a scrapbook kept by Young, who then later removed them from the album and sent them to a friend, sometime in the 1930s. (When discovered, they were accompanied by the original mailing envelope sent by Young!) Even without the extraordinary provenance, the fact that some of the cabinet photos were used to create the legendary Just So Tobacco cards of the 1893 Cleveland Spiders makes the discovery of these photographs one of the all-time great card-related finds. Just So Tobacco cards have long been revered as among nineteenth-century card collecting's most legendary rarities. Interestingly, the image of Childs on this cabinet card is ever so slightly different than that which appears on Childs' Just So Tobacco card, which is particularly fascinating when comparing the cabinet card and the issued card. (An image of that extreme card rarity can be referenced by checking REA's Spring 2014 auction; a Just So Tobacco card of Childs appeared as Lot #52 and realized $32,588.) The fact that Cy Young has personally identified each player in ink along the bottom of the photo is an extraordinary added element of interest and appeal, and immediately identifies the provenance of the Just So Tobacco cabinet cards (though to the best of our knowledge, all known examples originate from this single miraculous find with Cy Young provenance). This example is labeled "Childs" in blue ink along the base of the mount. The card has been encapsulated by PSA/DNA, with the scripted ink notation certified by the company as "Cy Young Authentic Handwriting." The photograph captures Childs in uniform as he poses in a formal studio setting. The photographer's credit, "John H. Ryder - Cleveland, Ohio," appears both on the base of the mount and reverse. The cabinet card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays a strip of paper loss along the top reverse border resulting from its removal from the album, as well as minor edge and corner wear; it is otherwise in Excellent condition overall, with exceptional photo clarity. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $2,280
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