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Two 1860s Baseball Carte-de-Visites
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $822.50
In the early 1860s, for the first time ever, photographs were able to be reproduced very economically and were able to be distributed by various means to the general public. The carte-de-visite (often referred to as "CDV") was the most popular form of early mass-produced photography, and its introduction to the public coincided with both the Civil War and the growing popularity of baseball. Presented are two exceptional 1860s baseball CDVs that are among the earliest of all baseball images. The first, dating from circa 1865, pictures two opposing players standing together in uniform. While neither player is identified directly on the photo, further research indicates that the player pictured on the right is named McClure and that he was a member of the 1865 Albany Nationals. This particular CDV is well known among historians of nineteenth-century baseball. This very photograph is the plate specimen which is pictured in both Mark Rucker's groundbreaking work Baseball Cartes - The First Baseball Cards (plate number 16) and in the special nineteenth-century issue of The National Pastime (Spring 1984, page 9) published by The Society of American Baseball Research. The photographer's stamp "Churchill & Denison, Albany, N. Y." appears on the reverse as does a two-cent tax stamp. The CDV (2.25 x 4 inches) has corners very slightly clipped (which is very common with early CDVs of all subjects and relates to being being mounted in photographic albums) and is otherwise in Excellent condition. The second CDV was distributed as an advertisement by the artist John Deacon to promote the sale of his new sculpture titled "The Pitcher." Deacon's "The Pitcher" is among the most classic of all nineteeth-century baseball art-figural pieces. The photograph pictures the sculpture and the ad copy is provided below on the mount: "Entered according to Act of Cong. 1867, by John Deacon in clerk's Office of the Dist. Court So. Dist. of N. Y. 'The Pitcher' - John Deacon, Sculpture, 141 E. 25th St., N. Y. - Pub. by J. Deacon. Statuettes, $6." The advertising CDV is blank backed, with very light border wear, and a few minor surface imperfections along the photo. Very Good to Vg-Ex condition. Dimensions: each 2.5 x 4 inches. Total: 2 cards. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $822.50
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