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1859 to 1890 Harper's Weekly Woodcut Collection (17)
Starting Bid - $300.00, Sold For - $928.00
Collection of seventeen baseball Harper's woodcuts. During the mid-to-late nineteenth century, baseball's rise in popularity was duly noted by the newspapers and periodicals of the day. That popularity was perhaps no more evident than in the pages of Harper's Weekly, whose numerous woodcut illustrations of ballplayers and games in progress soon became one of the staples of the paper. Offered here are fourteen baseball woodcuts taken from Harper's Weekly, as well as three others taken from various illustrated papers of the day, spanning the years 1859 to 1890. All are in the form of individual pages, with the exception of one from 1865 which is represented by the complete paper. The two largest of the pages, both centerfold displays, capture games in progress. The first, from 1859, pictures both a cricket match and baseball game. The bottom section pictures a baseball match at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, while the top portion captures a cricket match, also in Hoboken. The second centerfold, from 1889, pictures an unidentified collegiate game. The others include an 1869 illustration picturing the Cincinnati Red Stockings receiving a trophy bat upon their return home from their celebrated tour; an 1885 page picturing portrait images of the game's top players including John Montgomery Ward, Mike "King" Kelly, Buck Ewing, Jim O'Rourke and Charles "Hoss" Radbourn; an 1874 page picturing nine members of the Philadelphia Athletics including a young Cap Anson; an 1866 page picturing the members of both the Brooklyn Atlantics and Philadelphia Athletics; an 1865 page picturing nine members of the Brooklyn Atlantics; two identical pages (circa 1888) celebrating the first league game of the season between Boston and New York; a four-page spread devoted to the opening of the 1890 baseball season, including the Player's League, with images of Buck Ewing, Cap Anson, John Montgomery Ward, Tim Keefe, and Charles Comiskey, to name just a few; and an 1882 page picturing the Chicago White Stockings including Cap Anson and Mike "King" Kelly. Ideal for display, Harper's woodcuts represent one of the most outstanding values for collectors of ninteenth-century baseball display items. Pages average 11 x 15.5 inches, with three smaller and two larger. Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Total 17 woodcuts. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $928.00
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