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Lot # 11 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1870 New York Mutual Peck & Snyder Advertising Trade Card

Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $23,200.00

This rare trade card is one of the earliest of all baseball cards. The studio photograph pictures the New York Mutuals, one of the most prominent teams of the era, posing together in uniform. This is one of a series of extremely rare trade cards issued by Peck & Snyder, featuring photographs of teams on the front and advertising for Peck & Snyder Sporting Goods Emporium (126 Nassau Street, New York) on the reverse. Team cards issued between approximately 1868 and 1870 and advertising for Peck & Snyder are known for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the Brooklyn Atlantics, the Philadelphia Athletics, the Chicago White Stockings, and the New York Mutuals. Only four examples of the Mutuals are known to exist. The Mutuals, also known as the Green Stockings, were financed by "Boss" Tweed of Tammany Hall fame, and were well known as one of the most corrupt baseball teams of the nineteenth century. It has been said that the final results of more of their losses had been fixed by gamblers than not. This team was symbolic of the epidemic of corruption at the highest level of play throughout much of the 1860s. The players on the Mutuals were, however, extremely accomplished, and could give any team in America a run for its money. If they wanted to. Each of the players has been identified in green along the base of the mount including Dave Eggler. Other stars include: Nelson 3rd Base, Martin, R.F., Swandell 2nd base, E. Mills 1st base, Hatfield SS, C. Mills C, Wolters P, and Patterson LF. Below the players' names the team is identified as "The Mutual (Green Stockings) B.B. Club of New York." The Mutuals were New York's strongest team of the late 1860s. The club, along with several other NABBP clubs, openly turned professional during 1869-70, and played in the first professional league, the National Association, for its duration of 1871 to 1875. The photograph on the mount is in Excellent condition with exceptional contrast. Period scripted notations on the mount to the left and right of the photograph provide the identification and title of the Mutuals' secretary and president. Another notation reading "Dell Wilson 1st base" appears on the reverse, very likely identifying a backup first baseman who is not pictured on the card. The advertising on the back is bright and crisp and printed in green. We believe that Peck & Snyder's use of green ink for printing on the front and back was intentional and in tribute to the team's formal name (The Green Stockings). While the card does not appear to be trimmed, there is in fact a very slight trim to the top and bottom borders. It is so slight that it not apparent, but we have verified this slight trim by comparing to other examples. Of the other three known Peck & Snyder Mutuals examples in existence, two have no trim whatsoever to the mount. One of these is the example which is in the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The other is in the premier nineteenth-century baseball collection in private hands and will likely never be sold. The third previously known example is severely trimmed. That card, which was also used as the plate specimen for Mark Rucker's groundbreaking book Base Ball Cartes: The First Baseball Cards, published in 1988, was last seen when it appeared as Lot 950 in Robert Edward Auctions' July 2000 sale. This, the final and fourth Peck & Snyder Mutuals known to exist, is an extraordinary example of this great rarity, which we consider to be among the most significant of all early baseball cards. Bright and very clean, both front and back; without reference to the period notations, the card has an exceptional Very Good to Excellent overall appearance. Dimensions: 4.25 x 3 inches. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000. SOLD FOR $23,200.00


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