Spring, 2018 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/25/2018

It was in late 2012 that we first laid eyes on this postcard, and were asked to research its subjects.  It was purchased by its owner from an estate that was being sold on eBay, originating from the family of one George Parquette, a resident of Augusta, Georgia.  The photo in the postcard was purported to be Parquette, along with Ty Cobb, dating roughly to 1905.  The seller explained that Parquette was a jeweler who was involved in presenting Cobb with a gold watch upon his being sold by the hometown Augusta Tourists to the Detroit Tigers in August of 1905.

At the time, we conducted a great deal of research, and were unable to find much information about a George Parquette from Augusta.  Just as we were beginning to give up, however, we made a discovery: Augusta, Georgia was home to a jeweler named George Paquette who was actually a watchmaker and employee of the L.J. Schaul company of Augusta.  That is when the massive amount of circumstantial evidence in support of the subjects of this real photo postcard being Paquette and Ty Cobb began to pile up.

There are many accounts of Cobb's sale to the Tigers in August of 1905, just weeks after his father's murder.  Cobb's price was $700, and he held out for some of the money, finally agreeing to head to Detroit after he was paid $160 plus transportation costs.  At the Tourists' final game of the season, before his first at bat, he was presented with a handsome gold watch, a gift purchased from a local jeweler for $50, by Tourists fans who pooled their money.  A lady friend also presented Cobb with a bouquet of flowers, both handed to him as he waited on deck for his first at bat.  After play resumed, Cobb struck out.

Paquette was a difficult gentleman to find at first, largely because his name was so often misspelled ("Parquette" is found in places, as is "Parquett").  Ultimately, though, we learned that George Irenee Paquette was born in 1874 in Quebec, and came to the United States in 1896, ultimately settling at 1436 Heath Street in Augusta.  Paquette quickly became immersed in the civic and business communities in Augusta, rising in social standing and becoming one of the leaders in the area Masonic organization.  In the 1920s, Paquette left the watchmaking business behind, opening a radio store, but in later years signed a contract to maintain the clock in the clocktower in the center of Augusta.  His Heath Street home stood just a mile away from Cobb's one-time home at 2425 Williams Street.  

As Paquette was connected to Schaul through his employment, Schaul was connected to Cobb.  While no news accounts we could find credit the 1905 gold watch to Schaul's jewelry business, we do believe it is likely that's exactly where the watch was purchased, as Schaul's company aggressively advertised its watches in the Augusta Chronicle newspaper.  His involvement in the Augusta community made it quite likely that he Schaul, along with Paquette, were very involved in Augusta's business and social circles, and continued to be for some time.  In 1924, Schaul hosted a barbecue to honor Cobb, as a member of the local Kiwanis organization.  All three men were members of the Masonic lodge in Augusta as well.  Indeed it was to Augusta that Cobb retreated on December 24 of 1926 when the town's business and civic leaders held a parade and ceremony to show his support as he was being investigated by Judge Landis for a gambling charge.  Cobb continued to live much of his life in and around Augusta as did Paquette, who passed away in 1937.  Given their involvement in the community, it is very likely that all three men were associates in Augusta for years.

In 2012, we presented this information along with the image of the postcard to the Ty Cobb Museum, as well as to facial recognition expert Mark Fimoff, and both agreed that the overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence, along with the facial features of the subject in the photo, made this postcard very likely to feature Cobb, in what would be one of his earliest known images.  Unfortunately, though, the lack of young images of Paquette, and the lack of clarity of the image of Cobb, make it impossible to unequivocally declare the photo to be that of the Georgia Peach.  The original eBay seller at the time had no further information on the Paquette/Parquette estate, and we returned the postcard to its initial consignor, unable to make an unequivocal statement but simply knowing that this must be Cobb and Paquette.

Five years and two owners later, the card has been consigned to us by an advanced collector (who had no idea that we'd seen and researched the card five years ago but, ironically, felt it would be a good match for LOTG due to our research ability).  In POOR condition, the card exhibits considerable soiling and staining, some surface abrasions and slight wrinkling, and two upper corner clips.  It has not been postally used, but dates to pre-1907.  An outstanding piece with a fantastic backstory, very, very, very likely to depict a young Ty Cobb with Augusta businessman George Paquette.

C.1905 RPPC Likely Featuring Ty Cobb (HOF - Pre-Rookie) - One Of His Earliest Known ImagesC.1905 RPPC Likely Featuring Ty Cobb (HOF - Pre-Rookie) - One Of His Earliest Known Images
C.1905 RPPC Likely Featuring Ty Cobb (HOF - Pre-Rookie) - One Of His Earliest Known Images
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,800
Number Bids: 24
Auction closed on Sunday, March 25, 2018.
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