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1888 New York Giants Joseph Hall Team Cabinet (Six Hall of Famers)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $5,220.00
Extremely rare Joseph Hall team cabinet photograph (4.25 x 6.5 inches) featuring the most dominating team of the era, the New York Giants of the National League. This is a very unusual variation of this significant rarity, featuring Mutrie standing up (as opposed to seated as we have seen previously), with a grey mount with advertising on reverse. Careful comparison of the photo on this card with the photograph on the blank-backed example we offered as Lot 160 in April 2005 and which we have seen previously shows many other small changes. Joseph Hall had more than one printing of team cabinet cards in 1888. Most surviving examples have blank backs but some feature dark brown reverses with advertising for Joseph Hall in gold. Cards of this style are particularly scarce. The Giants were league champions in both 1888 and 1889. This powerhouse team included an incredible six Hall of Famers, more than any other team of the era: Tim Keefe, Roger Connor, John Montgomery Ward, Buck Ewing, Jim O'Rourke, and Mickey Welch. Joseph Hall team cabinets have long been revered by collectors as among the most highly prized of all nineteenth-century cabinet issues, and are universally regarded as the premier team cabinet card series of the era. In this striking and unusual photo by legendary photographer Joseph Hall, the preeminent baseball photographer of the late 1880s, the World Champion New York Giants are posed outside, in front of the stadium grandstand. The photo is taken from a slight side angle, as opposed to directly in front, with all players looking to their right rather than looking forward toward the camera. It is likely that two cameras were set up at the same time and this shot was taken when the players were posing for the second camera. Players are identified along the base of the mount. The photograph is crisp and clean. The corners of the mount are naturally rounded, as made by Joseph Hall, a tiny touch of surface paper loss on the bottom of the mount affects several player names, and a small unobtrusive tear on the right border of the mount does not affect the photograph. The mounted photograph has a one-inch surface crease and is otherwise in Excellent condition. The extreme rarity of Joseph Hall team cabinets, the prominence of the Giants team, and the inclusion of so many Hall of Famers combine to make this card one of the best of all nineteenth-century team cards. This is an extraordinary example of one of the key teams of the day, including six Hall of Famers, from the Joseph Hall team cabinet series. Overall in Vg-Ex condition, with small margin tear to mount as noted. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $5,220.00
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