1902 Chicago Orphans Large Team Photograph. Absolutely exquisite oversized team photograph is believed to be the only surviving original print picturing the 1902 Chicago National League ballclub that would come to be known as "the Cubs" the following season. The photo itself is no "orphan," however, with its parentage firmly established as that of celebrated Chicago lensman George Lawrence, whose period studies of both the Cubs and White Sox are highly sought by educated collectors. His mark appears at lower left, reading "Photo by Lawrence, 2917 Michigan Ave., Chicago." A quick glance at this stunning image will put to rest any question about the reasoning behind his lofty status in the photography community, as the shot pairs sabre-sharp clarity with exquisite composition. Nineteen team members reported for this West Side Park portrait, each of whom is identified in vintage ink along with a notation at right that reads, "Chicago League Ball Club, 1902." Perhaps most notable is a twenty-one year old rookie named Joe Tinker, who stands with hands on hips at far right. In the same row, second from left, is another third of the famed double-play combo, fellow Hall of Famer Frank Chance. Looking more like an undertaker than a baseball manager is the third and final Cooperstown resident in the image, 1999 inductee Frank Selee. The rumpled uniforms and sullen expressions upon the subjects' deeply lined faces is pure Dead Ball bliss for the baseball historian, marvelously evocative of this special period in our National Pastime. The glorious silver gelatin photo measures an expansive 12x16", which would have been particularly costly to create in the earliest days of the twentieth century, thereby assuring former ownership by some manner of VIP, perhaps a player or team official or Chicago politician. Despite its advanced age, the condition of the photograph is remarkably strong, with not even a semblance of a crease, tear or stain to derail its stunning beauty. Certainly one of the most exciting baseball photography offerings in recent auction history, this piece was located within the locker of a salvaged ship that had once belonged to the Guggenheim family, emerging only recently after decades of slumber. Joining this photo was a second, dating to the 1903 season, which we present in the lot to follow. The photo is attractively matted and framed to final dimensions of 16x20.5". Guide Value or Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - without Glass, Medium (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    18th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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