Incredible large-format photograph framed to a finished size of 23 1/2" x 19" and featuring the members of the 1889 World Champion New York Giants, taken by well-known photographer Joseph Hall. The studio photo features 14 members of the team, including five Hall of Famers, each posing in formal clothing against an elegant studio backdrop, the players posed underneath a banner that reads "League Champions 1889." The photo features the following players: TOP ROW (L-R): Art Whitney, Tim Keefe (HOF), Mike Tiernan, Mickey Welch (HOF), Roger Connor (HOF), Willard Brown, and Buck Ewing (HOF). BOTTOM ROW (L-R): Pat Murphy, Cannonball Crane, an unidentified player, Jim Mutrie (manager), Danny Richardson, Bill George and Jim O'Rourke (HOF). It is likely that the piece was produced specifically for members of the team, and that this particular example was once owned by someone in the photo or someone associated with the club, simply given the expense involved with producing a photo of this size.
The quality of the photo is outstanding, with strong contrast and detail. It remains in outstanding condition, with a small tear measuring approximately 1" in length that begins near the top and extends down to the bottom of the "E" in "League." The tear appears to have been professionally repaired and stabilized, visible under close examination. Along the right edge of the photo is another tiny professional repair, a small area measuring less than 1/4" in diameter at the extreme edge, perhaps 1 1/2" from the top. Such tiny areas of minor restoration serve to reinforce the fact that the piece appears in outstanding condition, well cared for by a previous owner seeking to stabilize the piece and prevent it from breaking down further. While the professional framing prevents us from examining the reverse and the edges of the piece, the visible area is remarkable. 19th Century photos like this are extraordinarily rare and historically significant. An extraordinary rarity, including five Hall of Famers.