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1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Team CDV - Newly Discovered Example!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $32,313
Graded VG/EX 50 by SGC. Rare style carte-de-visite of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first all-professional team. This CDV of the 1869 Red Stockings is one of the hobby's most classic and historically significant baseball cards. There are actually several different styles of 1869 Red Stockings team cards, all featuring the same photograph but displaying slightly different mounts. This is a very unusual variety, with the team name appearing to the right of the team image on the mount ("Red Stocking B. B. Club - OF CINCINNATI, O") and all players identified on the reverse (both extremely desirable design elements that are not shared by all 1869 Cincinnati Reds team CDVs). When this card was issued, the new technologies allowing for the mass production of photographs were in their infancy. Various popular subjects were candidates for such cards, especially famous political figures, entertainers, and historically significant geographical and architectural sites from far away places. These carte-de-visite photographs were intended to be saved and stored in albums. In an age without television and little travel, these cards were a revolutionary tool allowing people to learn about the world around them. It is not surprising that photographs of the 1869 Red Stockings were a popular subject purchased and saved by fans. Led by Harry and George Wright, the Red Stockings toured the nation and went undefeated for ninety-two consecutive games. Because of their dominance, the team was a legend in its own day, though at the time, of course, no one could have imagined the impact they would have on the game. Just two years later the National Association, baseball's first all-professional league, was formed in large part because of the success of the Red Stockings. Shortly thereafter, in 1876, the American Association gave way to the National League and baseball officially became big business. The photo displays slightly light contrast (a trait common to nearly all known examples); however, the contrast is still quite good for an 1869 Red Stockings CDV. All of the identifying numbers on each player (which correspond to the player identifications on the reverse) are clearly legible, and while some of the Cincinnati uniform logos are very light, each is still discernible with the naked eye. The mount displays just a hint of edge and corner wear, and there are a few small areas of age toning on the reverse. The actual photograph compares very favorably to other examples, with great visual appeal, and displays as Excellent. This 1869 Reds CDV is newly discovered to the modern collecting world, and has just recently been found by the family of a longtime casual collector who has long since passed away. It was the only nineteenth-century card he had! He just happened, in his travels, to have come across this museum-caliber card, and fortunately it was recognized as special by the family when researching the collection (which included mostly items from the 1950s and later). Also of special note is the fact that this 1869 Reds team card is the highest-graded example by SGC or PSA. (SGC has encapsulated two CDV examples. The other CDV encapsulated by SGC is graded GOOD. PSA has encapsulated three CDV examples, all "Authentic".) This is an outstanding and extremely desirable example of one of baseball-card collecting's greatest classics. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $32,313
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