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Lot # 1438 (1438 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1912 Original George Grantham Bain Glass Negative - Christy Mathewson Warming Up

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,320

Original glass negative capturing Christy Mathewson as a member of the New York Giants in 1912, taken by renowned baseball photographer George Grantham Bain. The image pictures Mathewson warming up on the sidelines at the Polo Grounds, with a few of his teammates also visible in the background. Mathewson's last name and his team identification ("N.Y.") are etched into the negative along the top border, while the production number "2514-13" is etched along the left border (as was Bain's custom). There is a small piece of paper in the upper right corner that reads "S. S. 7/11/12." Even without that paper the date of this negative was easy to pinpoint because 1912 was the only season in which the Giants wore the uniform style seen here. The Giants were playing in Chicago on July 11, 1912, so the date on the paper most likely refers to its time of publication as opposed to the date the photo was actually taken. George Grantham Bain was one of the great early baseball photographers. In 1948 the Library of Congress purchased over 40,000 of Bain's glass negatives and nearly 50,000 of his photographic prints from the Culver Archives. Today, they permanently reside in the Library's George Grantham Bain Collection. This is one of a small number of Bain's original glass negatives, originating from the Culver Archives, that was not part of that purchase in 1948. Vintage action images of Christy Mathewson, especially those taken by a photographer of Bain's stature, are scare, making this an especially desirable example. 7 x 5 inches. Accompanied by its original paper sleeve. Because this negative (like all the negatives in the Culver Archives) was leased out to other news organizations, it displays flaws commensurate with its age and former use, which include varying degrees of emulsion loss, chipping, scuffing, and scratching (nearly all of those flaws can be minimized or eliminated through digital processing). Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,320


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