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1888 Conly Studios John Clarkson
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,160
Presented is the photographic portion of the exceedingly rare National League schedule for the season of 1888, issued jointly as a promotional piece by the well-known Boston photography studio of Conly and the printing firm of Alfred Mudge & Son, featuring a 2 x 4-inch photograph of Hall of Famer John Clarkson. With a design and appearance extremely similar to some of the rarest and most desirable of all nineteenth-century baseball-card issues, this piece holds tremendous appeal despite representing only a portion of the schedule. Unfortunately, a complete schedule had to be cut up at some point in time to produce the portion offered here. The complete schedule is actually far rarer than even the rarest nineteenth-century baseball sample cards, with fewer than ten examples known to exist (all featuring John Clarkson). The photo contrast and image quality is extraordinary on this piece. Conly Studio's copyright notice is printed directly under the Clarkson portrait photo, which shows the Hall of Famer boldly in his Boston uniform. The Conly advertising text below Clarkson's portrait ("Photo. Copyright, By Conly, 1888") is so similar to the lettering of S. F. Hess cards of the same year, that we believe this suggests that the S. F. Hess cards were perhaps also produced by Conly and/or Mudge. The complete schedule has always been one of our favorite 1880s baseball memorabilia items, with the presence of an extraordinary card rarity, an extremely substantial makeup, and its uniqueness compared to any other item of the era. No set of cards is identical in size or design to this Clarkson photo, but if there were, the set would be one of the most highly prized of all pre-1900 card issues. This is a unique opportunity to acquire the card-like photographic portion of the schedule, which gives the piece its exceptional visual presence and appeal to nineteenth-century card collectors. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).SOLD FOR $2,160
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