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1892 Alexander Cartwright Studio Cabinet Card
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,993.75
Like many scholars, Barry Halper was especially interested in the origins of the game, and had a great appreciation for all things related to Alexander Cartwright. Over the years Barry also had the great fortune of acquiring numerous significant personal items of Cartwright, many obtained directly from the Cartwright family. The Cartwright material was one of the favorite areas of his collection, and in many ways one of the most extraordinary. When Barry sold the vast majority of his collection in 1999, not surprisingly he chose to keep a significant selection of Cartwright material. The following ten lots are the Cartwright items that Barry kept.
Presented is an extremely rare cabinet card photograph of Alexander Joy Cartwright, one of the founding fathers of baseball. The formal studio photograph captures Cartwright late in life, a time in which he was one of Honolulu’s most respected businessmen and civic leaders. The photographer’s name and address (“Taber, 8 Montgomery Street, San Francisco”) appear on the mount. This very famous image has been published many times: in fact, this very cabinet card is the image that has been used in those various books and publications. It is possible that it is unique. This cabinet card originates directly from Cartwright’s estate and was obtained by Barry Halper in the 1980s. It has remained in his collection ever since. This is the only traditional cabinet card photo of Cartwright (4.25 x 6.5 inches) that we have ever seen or heard of. Cabinet cards of most nineteenth-century Hall of Famers, whether photographer's studio cabinets or advertising cabinet cards such as Old Judge, are in most cases possible to acquire, but aside from this card it appears that Cartwright is a notable and significant exception. The reverse of the card has an advertisement promoting the purchase of duplicate copies ("$5.00 per dozen plain, and $8.00 for the glazed finish."). Alexander Cartwright, who was one of the original members of the New York Knickerbockers, is credited with having formulated many of the modern rules of baseball in 1846. He left New York in 1849 and headed west to claim his fortune during the California gold rush. Failing to strike it rich, he continued on to Hawaii, where he ultimately settled. In addition to introducing the game of baseball to the Hawaiian Islands, he’s also credited with founding the first fire department in Honolulu. A successful businessman, he later became an advisor to Hawaii’s royal family. Cartwright passed away in 1892 at the age of seventy-two. His contributions to the game of baseball were formally recognized in 1939, when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cartwright’s name is neatly written in ink along the top of the reverse. Aside from some very light foxing, the card remains in Excellent condition. From the Barry Halper Collection. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $4,993.75
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