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Circa 1867 Massachusetts BBC Imperial Display Photo
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $1,057.50
Extremely rare and high-quality Imperial display photograph, almost certainly unique, of an unknown team. This is an extremely early baseball photograph of extraordinary composition and detail. The photographic history of our National Pastime is sometimes very rich in quality but lacking in information. Many baseball images, especially those taken long before 1900, reveal little about the identity of the teams or players pictured. That is the case here with this glorious image, which is particularly noteworthy for its amazing quality and artistic merit. The oval photo pictures a local town team posing together against a backdrop of a row of houses. All of the players are dressed in bib-front uniforms from the era, complete with matching belts and caps. While we cannot comment upon the team's worth on the field, their high-quality uniforms suggest that the team was at least well funded. According to our consignor, this photo originates from Massachusetts, which of course was a hotbed of baseball activity in the 1860s, and features a Massachusetts area team. Unfortunately, that is the only bit of information we can offer with regard to identification. The mystery of this piece, however, serves to put even greater focus on the extraordinary quality of the image itself and the clues and detail it provides. Images such as this are not just photographs, but portals in time, instantly transporting us back to when baseball was firmly establishing itself as the National Pastime. The photograph (7 x 5 inches), presented in its original mat and in what may very well be its original oval frame, has flawless contrast and the visible image area is in Near Mint condition. Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.5 inches. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $1,057.50
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