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1893 Boston Beaneaters Woodcut Postage Mailed First Class Folk Art "Postcard"

Lot Number 210

Quantity: Bid Starts: 05/15/2020 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 200.00  Bid Ends: 05/28/2020 23:30:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
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Offered is a historically significant international piece of 19th Century baseball history depicting one of the legendary East Coast teams in a high quality woodcut which is, at the very least, rare. The nearly 4-1/4 x 6-1/4" team composite depicts the 1893 Boston Beaneaters who were managed by Hall of Famer Frank Selee. The squad won two-thirds of their games and featured Hall of Fame members Kid Nichols, Hugh Duffy and Tommy McCarthy along with star pitchers Harry Staley and Jack Stivetts. The reverse contains all of the information one would expect to guarantee that this was incontrovertibly a piece of mail that was sent similar to a postcard.  First, there is the name of the photographic studio G.C. Arless & Co., which was definitely located on 261 James Street in Montreal in 1893.  Further, J.B. LaPlante was similarly, a period printer from Quebec.  Most significantly, there is an original 1870-1893 1 cent Lemon-Yellow Queen Victoria Canadian stamp (Scott Catalog #35) with a cancellation--this is critically important because very few pieces of 19th Century mail remain extant with stamps as well as postmarks as a direct result of the explosion of stamp collecting.  One could even research the distinctive 1893 postmark and track it to a specific post office location.

Someone either traveling in Canada or living North-of-the-border, obviously knew or was a member of the famous Pierce Family, the addressee, of Boston. They created a fantastic collectible by taking an original woodcut of a great baseball team from another source and adhering it to a custom cut advertising piece from a noted French-speaking photographer. This amazing combination in Fair condition is best described as Folk Art which was created in 1893 and is unquestionably one of the earliest mailed pieces of sports memorabilia showcasing images of a baseball team. The visual appeal is still solid despite some tears, wear, and tape repair (middle and corner). The rounded corners are consistent with it being more than 125 years old.  It is worthwhile to state that we are unaware of another matching woodcut of this size although the source could be determined given time. While an individual, acquainted with or part of the Pierce family, took two items and personally incorporated them into something unique, this is still a great item because it was mailed, is still entirely intact, and most likely is worthy of being in an advanced collection where the owner can genuinely appreciate the creativity as well as its provenance.

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