Description1863 Union Prisoners at Salisbury Civil War Baseball Lithograph. It's one of the earliest color representations of the sport that grew to become our National Pastime. Though the Civil War marks a particularly troubling period of American history, it was through the marching of armies that the nation was pollinated with the love for the sport, and thus any artifacts concerning Civil War baseball are particularly and properly coveted by the knowledgeable baseball historian. In this regard, the spectacular aesthetics of this large print are pure icing.
The original text along the bottom border of these prints, reading "Union Prisoners at Salisbury, N.C., Drawn from Nature by Act. Major Otto Boeticcher" has been lost through the restoration process which stripped away a layer of varnish to bring the vibrant colors of the artwork back to life and trimmed a small portion of the lower border. The detail of the artwork is truly remarkable, with dozens of prisoners and guards ranged all about the 25x42" lithograph but mainly engaged in play or spectatorship of the baseball action.
Close inspection will reveal the scattered area of toning or a stray mark here and there, but the overall aesthetic effect is truly arresting and leaves no question as to why this is considered among the most desirable visual documents of the Civil War-era game. The lithograph has been professionally linen-backed for preservation and needs nothing more than a simple framing job to bring the piece to its fullest potential.
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