Original carte de visite (CDV) capturing Charles Gould, former member of the legendary 1869 Boston Red Stockings. Produced by the renowned Warren Studio of Boston. This is one of only two examples of this CDV we have ever seen, and just one of only a few known period portrait photos of Gould. It is interesting to note that an ornate baseball pin is clearly visible on his left breast (the same pin can be seen on the vest of his Red Stockings teammates Harry Schafer and Ross Barnes on separate CDVs in the collection).
Charles Gould was the only player born and raised in Cincinnati to play for the 1868 Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball's first all-professional team. That fact, along with his superb abilities as a first baseman, made him a favorite among the team's "cranks." Gould starred with the Cincinnati Red Stockings for two seasons before joining Harry Wright in 1871 as a member of Wright's newly formed Boston Red Stockings in the National Association, baseball's first professional league. Gould later returned to Cincinnati as player/manager of the Reds during the National League's 1876 inaugural season, before retiring in 1877.
This CDV originates from an extraordinary unprecedented find of early baseball photographs recently discovered in a nineteenth-century photo album, all of which are offered in this auction. Included in the album were team-composite CDVs for seven of the nine founding members of the 1871 National Association, baseball's first professional league, plus individual portrait images of many of the game's earliest stars. Original baseball photos dating from the 1870s are exceedingly rare and for many of the players represented in this collection their offered CDV is not only the first such example we have handled, but in many cases, the only one we have ever seen.
All the CDVs in the collection have been slightly trimmed by the original owner so that they could fit properly within the predesigned album sleeves (a common practice at the time). However, for most, the trim affects the mount only and the photos remain in outstanding condition overall. While the history of the album is unknown (our consignor purchased it from an antique dealer), since nearly all the photos found in the album are of ball clubs or ballplayers from the early 1870s, it most likely belonged to a former player or perhaps a National Association team executive.
A "Warren's" credit stamp appears on the reverse that includes the studio's address ("289 Washington Street, Boston, Mass.") and the notice "Under the Supervision of Mr. S. B. Heald." Based upon that information, this CDV was produced between the years 1872 and 1874 (the studio moved to 289 Washington Street in 1872 and Heald left the company in 1874). A partial stamping reading "Mass." also appears on the reverse, in the upper left corner. As previously noted, the CDV (2.5x3.75 inches) has been slightly trimmed to its current dimensions. Encapsulated and certified "Authentic" by SGC.