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1895 Brooklyn Bridegrooms Imperial Cabinet Photograph - Player Provenance!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $16,800
Rare imperial cabinet photo capturing twenty members of the 1895 National League Brooklyn Bridegrooms posing together on the field in front of the grandstands. Although the players are not identified in print on the photo or mount, we have seen a later-day newspaper clipping featuring this very team image where the players were identified as follows: (back row, L to R) Hines, Burrell, Gumbert, Abbey, Tredway, Shindle, Daly, Daub, and Schouch; (middle row) Mulvey, Dailey, LaChance, Foutz, Griffen, Grim, Anderson, and Burns; (front row) Stein, Corcoran, and Kennedy. The date and photographer's credit ("Copyright 1895/Gardner & Co./Brooklyn, N.Y.") appear in the lower left corner. Nineteenth-century imperial team cabinets, especially those capturing Major League clubs, are exceedingly rare. (This is the first example of an 1895 Brooklyn Bridegrooms imperial cabinet we have ever seen, let alone offered.) Their rarity is due to the fact that they were most likely produced as special presentation pieces, issued only to team members and club executives. Such was the case with the offered photo, which comes with the unique provenance of originating directly from the family of Buster Burrell (pictured back row, second from the left). Burrell began his professional career in 1891, playing for Salem in the New England League before joining the New York Giants at the end of the season. He did not see a major league diamond again until 1895, when he played three seasons for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. The remainder of his professional career, which ended in 1907, was spent in the minors with eight various clubs in the New England League. (A collection of Buster Burrell cabinet photos appears as a separate lot elsewhere in this auction.)
Brooklyn finished the 1895 season with a record of 71-60, finishing tied for fifth place with Boston. Although the club featured no future Hall of Fame players on its roster, a number of notable players are pictured here, including Candy LaChance (key member of the 1903 Boston Red Sox, winners of the first World Series), Dave Foutz (key member of 1885 to 1887 St. Louis Browns, winners of three consecutive American Association pennants and one World Championship), Tommy Corcoran (eighteen-year major league veteran who played in the Players League, American Association, and National League), Billy Shindle (member of the 1887 World Champion Detroit Wolverines), and Brickyard Kennedy (four-time twenty-game winner and member of the 1903 pennant-winning Pittsburgh Pirates). The photo (15.75 x 12 inches), which offers remarkable clarity (one can count the laces on each player's cleats), has been slightly trimmed to its current dimensions and is affixed to a tan mount. A few tiny edge tears are evident along the border areas, are as a few minor surface wrinkles, all of which have been effectively ameliorated by the mounting process. In apparent Excellent to Mint condition. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 20.5 x 16.5 inches.
Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $16,800
(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)