Summer, 2020 Auction - Closes August 29
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/30/2020

Exceptional composite photo featuring the members of the 1874 Cheyenne Baseball Club, champions of the Wyoming Territory.  The piece measures 9 1/2" x 14" and is printed on thin paper.  The composite features full-body photos of nine players in uniform, some posing with a ring-style bat and one, second baseman J. Howard, actually standing on a bag.  The photos themselves are clear and detailed, the edges exhibiting wear and paper chipping and the paper itself exhibiting waviness consistent with long-ago exposure to moisture, the telltale signs of which are evident at the right edge.

An examination by photography expert David Cycleback reveals the opinion that the piece is certainly prewar, though not dating to the 1800s.  It likely dates to the early 1900s and is certainly rare, likely made for display purposes.

Our consignor conducted considerable research into the team in an effort to discover the origins of the piece, and ultimately received some excellent information from the Wyoming State Archives.  The Archives owns two copies of this same image, one from the 1870s and one produced later.  The image from the 1870s is likely the original composite, with individual photos mounted on the page.  The second, later piece contains similar markings as this, and was likely printed off the same negative.

The player in the upper-right corner is Warren W. Sawyer, the team's pitcher and a photographer who partnered with centerfielder and barbershop owner Frank Beaucaire (middle row, left) in an art gallery studio.  Their business partnership dissolved in 1876, after which point it appears that Sawyer was no longer involved with the team.  Beaucaire remained with the team, elected Secretary in April of 1876.  The business itself changed hands several times, eventually owned by WG "Billy" Walker in 1894, who would run the studio until his retirement in 1935.

The piece in the possession of the Wyoming State Archives contains a stamp that reads "WG Walker Cheyenne," a likely indicator that the piece was produced after 1894, when Walker took over the studio.

In addition to the photo, the piece includes what is likely its original frame, a wooden vintage piece backed with cardboard that contains an American Tobacco Company stamp.  While the frame exhibits quite a bit of wear, and the backing is secured with duct tape, it remains an interesting companion to the photo itself.  A tremendous piece, documenting the very earliest days of baseball in the West.

Turn of the Century 1874 Cheyenne Baseball Club Team Photo CompositeTurn of the Century 1874 Cheyenne Baseball Club Team Photo CompositeTurn of the Century 1874 Cheyenne Baseball Club Team Photo CompositeTurn of the Century 1874 Cheyenne Baseball Club Team Photo Composite
Turn of the Century 1874 Cheyenne Baseball Club Team Photo Composite
Click above for larger image.
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150
Final prices include buyers premium.: $510
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Sunday, August 30, 2020.
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