DescriptionC. 1892 Levi & Gold Studio Buck Ewing Cabinet Photo SGC Authentic. The last Buck Ewing cabinet photo we have is also one of the most unique. A portrait of this style was unknown to our staff. The size is 4-1/4" x 6-1/2" and is credited to the Levi & Gold Studio in Cincinnati, Ohio (just an hour's drive from Ewing's hometown). Encapsulated SGC Authentic for no other reason than one has never been seen before. The back is blank, the front shows barely any sign of wear and presents at the excellent-mint to near-mint level. One small sample of paper adhered to the photo on his right pants leg is the "worst" we can find to criticize. The Cincinnati jersey and studio location would place its circulation date to the 1895-1897 era, not 1892. The realistic head and cartoonish body of Ewing, multiple injuries and needing a bat to support him is obviously a light-hearted commentary on Buck's advancing age and physical condition of the now hometown hero near or at retirement. A state much to be expected for a catcher with 17- years of experience and it is possible this was made as a souvenir because of his retirement. Surface painting in the face, sling, belt, socks, bat and splint are precise telling us this was not the work of some fan and done in studio. A fascinating find and one like we have never seen.
The Cincinnati Find of Nineteenth Century Baseball Cabinet Photographs.
It seems only fitting that the most significant find of early baseball photography in recent memory should surface in a city with such an essential role in the early professional game. While the precise history of this volume of fifty cabinets has been lost beneath the sands of time, our strong suspicion is that the genesis lies in the family of William "Buck" Ewing, the Hall of Fame catcher, who appears several times in the imagery. Even more compelling is the appearance of his brother John Ewing, who is pictured both as a member of his elder sibling's 1891 New York Giants, and also on various minor league squads. There would appear to be no other reason for such a wide (and occasionally obscure) cross-section of Ewing-related imagery other than a family derivation.
Even dismissing any thoughts of original ownership, the imagery stands firmly on its own, in terms of both content and condition, which leaves little indication of the passing of a dozen decades. It's a view into the early game rarely encountered in this hobby, and an opportunity not to be taken lightly.
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