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Cap Anson Collection Including Autograph Letter and Original Artwork (4)
Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $4,350.00
Each of the four items presented in this collection was just recently obtained by our consignor directly from Cap Anson's family and is heretofore unknown to the hobby. The highlight of the collection is a two-page handwritten letter (both sides of a single sheet) from Anson to his three daughters that contains brief baseball content. In his missive, dated November 20, 1906 and scripted in black fountain pen upon official stationery of the City Clerk's Office of Chicago, Illinois, Anson writes in part: "Carroll & Cherry + Adele Enclosed you will find letter from my brother which I would like you to read and advise me how much I should ask my brother for my half. I am willing to sell for almost anything. I am willing to sell for the amount you think it will bring. If you think it will not bring any more than enough to pay off the debt now on it I think I would say to my brother that I would turn it over to him for nothing...if I could get three or four thousand dollars I could use it in building my grand stand. I do not agree with my brother that he sold me his half. I do agree that he sell conditionally and that was if I could use the money...The new place is opened took in Saturday one hundred and one dollars down stairs and eighty-three up. And I know very few people knew we are open. Am still figuring on the base ball but have not been able to choose. Love to all. Your Loving father. AC Anson." The signature displays slight amounts of both brushing and bleeding, and grades "7" overall. The text is all boldly penned, grading "9/10." Anson, one of the game's greatest players, retired from Major League baseball in 1898; however, his post-playing career was marked by both bad business decisions and, in turn, financial troubles. His popularity in Chicago led to his successful election as City Clerk in 1905, but he was criticized for his ineffectiveness and only served one term. His mention in the letter of hoping to build a grandstand and his figuring on which baseballs to choose most likely relates to "Anson's Colts," a semipro team he purchased at about this time. Acting as the team's manager, the club lasted a few seasons before folding due to poor attendance. The proceeds he mentions, "one hundred and one dollars down stairs and eighty-three up," may refer to the bowling alley and billiard parlor he owned. Unfortunately, that, too, proved to be a financial failure and closed within a few years. The letter (8.25 x 10.5 inches) displays one horizontal and two vertical fold lines as well as a few light stains (mostly affecting the reverse). Very Good Condition. Included with the letter are the following three items: 1) 1886 original pen-and-ink caricature of Anson. The attractive piece, dedicated to Anson, pictures him in his White Stockings uniform holding a laurel wreath reading "Champions 1886." This piece was almost certainly published in 1886. It has always been a common practice for newspaper artists to present originals of artwork to featured subjects as a token of respect. Signed "McCutheon" in the lower right. Good to Very Good condition with light staining along the bottom border, corner chips and tape repair to five visible edge tears. 10.5 x 13.75 inches. Partially matted and framed to total dimensions of 12 x 15 inches. 2) Period black-and-white picture of Anson in street clothes, circa 1906. The photographers credit "DeHaven" appears in the lower right. Good to Very Good condition with a tear along the right border and numerous light creases. 8 x 10 inches. 3) Book plate photo of the Chicago White Sox, circa 1880s, in a formal team pose. The black fountain pen notation "Adrian C. Anson and his 'Colts.'" appears along the bottom border. Very Good condition with a corner chip and tape remnants on the reverse. 11 x 7 inches. While the handwritten letter is certainly the highlight of the collection in terms of value, the additional items are each very interesting and desirable items in their own right, and the fact that all of these items have just recently come directly from the Anson family at this late date adds a fascinating and significant provenance to this unique collection. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $800. Estimate $1,500/$2,500. SOLD FOR $4,350.00
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