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Lot # 1137: 1903 Carl Horner American League Composite Display Photograph

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 32 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring Classic 2022",
which ran from 5/20/2022 7:00 PM to
6/11/2022 10:00 PM

1903 American League composite photograph produced by renowned Boston photographer Carl Horner. Given its immense size, unique design, and the number of players pictured, this has long been considered one of the finest baseball photographic displays ever issued. It is also exceedingly rare. This is the first example we have ever offered and we have seen few others at auction in the past twenty five years. The attractive design features individual portraits of between twelve and sixteen members for each of the then eight American League teams, plus larger portraits of each club's manager. Pictured in the center of the display is a portrait of American League president Ban Johnson. "American League 1903" is printed directly below Johnson's image. Each player is identified in print along the base by means of a corresponding number next to his respective image. Numerous future Hall of Famers are pictured here, including Cy Young, Jimmy Collins, Rube Waddell, Connie Mack, Eddie Plank, Chief Bender, Addie Joss, Nap Lajoie, Elmer Flick, Clark Griffith, Jack Chesbro, Willie Keeler, Ed Barrow, Sam Crawford, Jesse Burkett, Bobby Wallace, and Ed Delahanty. A total of 122 players, plus eight managers and Ban Johnson appear in the display, making it one of, if not the most comprehensive baseball composites ever created. It should also be noted that many of the images featured in this display were later used in the production of the player's 1909-1911 T206 tobacco card, including Cy Young, and Rube Waddell. This was the first such league composite created by Horner, and he continued the tradition in both 1904 and 1905. Today, all three of those league composites are exceedingly rare. Surprisingly, Horner offered his league composites for retail sale at his Boston studio (an advertisement for the 1903 American League composite appears in the 1904 Boston Red Sox regular-season program; an example of the program is offered elsewhere in this auction), however, their high cost, and the fact that they were only offered in Boston, is the reason for their rarity today. It's scarcity and aesthetics notwithstanding, the offered composite is also one of the finest examples we have ever seen. Aside from some very light foxing and toning (almost entirely in the upper left quadrant), the piece (18x21.75", visible dimensions) is in apparent Excellent to Mint condition, looking much as it did when it was displayed at the Horner Studio in 1903. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 28x26". Please note: the size and/or weight of this lot will necessitate an increased shipping charge.

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