Significant studio cabinet photo from a rare issue, produced by the prominent Conly Photographic Studios of Boston. Each of the photos in the set depicts a member of the 1891 Boston Red Stockings, who won the championship of the American Association in the league's final season. There are less than a dozen known subjects from the issue (eight of them are included in this auction), though it is likely that additional players were originally included). The cabinets each feature a sepia-tone photo of the player in street clothes, the photographer's name and city printed at the bottom of the mount with the player's name neatly written in fountain pen in-between. The reverse features an ornate and elaborate advertisement for the studio on the reverse.
The reverse of each card in the collection we are offering has, with exceptions noted in the individual descriptions, glue staining around the perimeter of the mount, with a number written on the reverse of each card (a different number on each). It has been theorized that the photos were once mounted to a larger display, perhaps designed to create a larger photo composite or other display. The numbers serve as an indication that additional subjects were initially included (the highest number included in the group is 12).
The player in this cabinet has, in the past, been identified as Darby O'Brien, though William "Darby" O'Brien was an outfielder for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1891. John "Cinders" O'Brien, a pitcher with the 1891 Red Stockings, has been referred to as "Darby" in various online and offline publications as well. This cabinet is in FAIR condition with some fading to the image, as well as some very light soiling. Cinders O'Brien went 18-13 with a 3.65 ERA for the 1891 Red Stockings, and died of pneumonia at just 24 years old the following year.