Famous image appears on several period trading cardsCirca 1903 Roger Bresnahan Original Photograph by Carl Horner, Inscribed & Signed to Bresnahan's Brother.
What Matthew Brady was to photography of the Civil War era, Carl Horner was to Dead Ball Era baseball. His work serves not only as the most comprehensive visual record of the Major Leagues' practitioners during the earliest years of the twentieth century, but also as a master class in early portrait photography itself, every image adeptly lit and registered to create a body of work that falls quite comfortably under the heading of fine art.
This is one of the finest and most significant representations to surface in the collecting hobby, a haunting portrait of a Hall of Fame legend in his prime, likely shot in 1903, Bresnahan's first full season in a New York Giants uniform. We come to that assumption by the presence of a pencil inscription from the Hall of Fame catcher to his brother found on the back of the mounted image, reading, "Roger to Jim, Christmas 1903." The inscription presents at a strength of 8/10.
The image is equally fine, exhibiting some light surface soiling that could likely be cleaned quite easily if desired and does little to distract. Horner's work was implemented widely among producers of early trading cards, most famously the Honus Wagner T206 that stands as the hobby's most celebrated cardboard entry. This Bresnahan shot can be found on the elegant T204 Ramly, the M116 Sporting Life, and the E103 Williams Caramel entry.
The photograph itself measures 4x5.5" in size, with the tasteful Horner mount completing the dimensions at 5x7". Light edge and corner wear to the mount barely merits a mention. An absolute treasure of early baseball photography by any standard of measure. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Letter of provenance from the Bresnahan family.
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