Lot # 31: Extremely Rare 1889 Police Gazette Cabinets Mickey Welch (HOF - "Welsh")

Category: 19th Century

Starting Bid: $3,000.00

Bids: 14 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer, 2021 Premier Auction",
which ran from 8/9/2021 9:00 PM to
8/28/2021 9:00 PM

Extraordinarily rare cabinet photo issued in the late 1880s by Police Gazette as a premium made available for ten cents each.  While about two dozen subjects are currently known, their rarity makes it likely that the checklist is not currently complete.  This is the only baseball example we have ever handled (we have also sold a John Sullivan boxing cabinet), and it is lovely.  

As is the case with many of the Police Gazette cabinets, the image of Hall of Fame pitcher Mickey Welch is the same as the image found on his N338-2 S.F. Hess card.  Of course, this adds to the desirability of the card; the 23-card Hess issue is exceedingly rare, with a newly-discovered card of Welch selling for nearly $40,000 three years ago.  The Police Gazette cabinets are arguably even more rare than the S.F. Hess cards just 22 examples grace the grading company population reports (about half that of the Hess issue).

The cabinet boasts extraordinary image quality, with a clean surface and outstanding contrast.  The technical grade is reduced by two small, but pronounced surface abrasions at the top and bottom of the right edge, along with an owner's stamp and a slight horizontal wrinkle across the top of the reverse.  Aside from some very minor foxing, the additional wear is very mild, in the form of corner and edge wear.  Welch's name (misspelled "Welsh") along with the Police Gazette brand and publisher name, are printed in gold type at the bottom of the mount.  In our research, this is the only example of this card that we have been able to locate.  Part of a substantial discovery of cabinet photos in 2009, the card had previously not been catalogued and remains the only example of which we are aware.  Likely one-of-a-kind, a truly exceptional 19th Century cabinet photo featuring an important Hall of Fame portrait of "Smiling" Mickey Welch - just the third pitcher to win 300 career games.

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