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1879 Boston Team-Composite Cabinet with Harry Wright!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $9,000
Addendum: Our thanks to baseball historian and facial recognition expert Mark Fimoff, who has informed us that the twelfth player pictured here is Curry Foley.
Exceedingly rare and impressive team-composite cabinet featuring twelve members of the 1879 National League Boston Red Stockings, including manager Harry Wright. One of the most extraordinary nineteenth-century team cabinets we have ever seen! This is the only example of this team cabinet we have ever seen, let alone handled (though from collectors we are aware of the existence of at least one other example in damaged condition). All of the players are pictured in formal attire, with manager Harry Wright prominently pictured in the front. The ten other team members we have been able to identify are John Morrill, Tommy Bond, Ezra Sutton, Charley Jones, Sadie Houck, Bill Hawes, John O'Rourke, Ed Cogswell, Jack Burdock, and Pop Snyder. Both Cogswell and Hawes only played with Boston in 1879, which helps to conclusively date the photo. The photographer's credit, "Estabrooke 498 Washington St., Boston," appears at the base of the mount. Boston entered the 1879 season as the defending National League Champions, but the loss of star player George Wright (Harry's brother) to Providence, where he also served as manager, shifted the balance of power. Boston finished in second place to Providence in 1879 and it would be another four years before the National League pennant once again flew over Boston. The cabinet (4.25 x 6.5 inches) presents as Near Mint overall, with crisp, bold contrast, flawless edges, and an entirely clean surface. A tiny, insignificant, as-made fold is present in the top right corner of the photo but has no effect on the extremely impressive visual appeal and is mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy. The cabinet has been graded and encapsulated GOOD 30 by SGC entirely due to the presence of faint traces of erased pencil on the blank reverse (close inspection reveals that "Boston 1878" was written at one time). Flaws such as this "come with the territory" when dealing with nineteenth-century cards, and collectors have come to value photo quality and image contrast (each of which is outstanding on the offered example) much more than technical grade. We grade this card Near Mint. This is a remarkable rarity that would be an extremely significant highlight in even the most advanced nineteenth-century collection. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).SOLD FOR $9,000
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