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Lot # 700 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Nineteenth-Century Baseball Stereograph Card Collection (36)

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,770.00

Extraordinary collection of thirty-six stereograph cards with baseball images, with all but a few dating from the 1870s to the 1890s. A stereograph card features two identical photos mounted side by side that, when viewed through a stereoscope, merge and appear to present a single three-dimensional image. The technique for making stereographs dates to the 1830s; however, they did not become popular until the 1850s, when an easy-to-use viewer (the stereoscope) became widely available. With advances in photography manufacturing in the early 1860s, stereograph cards catapulted in popularity, providing a new and exciting form of entertainment in an era which predated movies and television, and when travel was far more difficult than in modern times. People could now enjoy the sights of the world in three dimensions in the comfort of their living rooms. As a result of their popularity, nearly all manner of subjects were captured on stereograph cards. Despite that fact, very few nineteenth-century baseball stereographs were made or have survived the ages. Offered here is a remarkable collection of thirty-six vintage baseball stereographs, the volume and scope of which distinguishes this collection as by far both the largest and highest quality assemblage we have ever seen. The vast majority of these photos date from before 1900, though included are a few dating from after the turn of the century. Many of the photos date from the 1870s and picture teams in early bib-front style uniforms. Among the images included are games in progress (with one displaying a tent next to the playing field), team photos, children in uniform, an informal pickup game in the street and scenes from "Base Ball Day" in Central Park, New York (two duplicates, one colorized). Baseball stereocards have received very little attention compared with other early types of popular mass-produced photography such as CDVs and cabinet cards. This is probably due in part to the fact that nineteenth-century baseball stereographs are so rare. This collection was assembled by our consignor over a period of over twenty years. We would be very surprised to ever see a more substantial grouping of these early baseball photographs offered together at a single time. Very Good to Excellent condition overall, with most displaying normal handling faults consistent with their age. The entire collection can be viewed on the internet. Included are many prize images and great rarities. Total: 36 stereographs (34 different). Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000.

Additional images are available at http://photos.yahoo.com/reaphotos. SOLD FOR $3,770.00


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