Extraordinary example of one of the most unique and historic of all nineteenth-century cards. This circa 1865 CDV photograph features Harry Wright and his father, Sam Wright. Harry Wright is recognized as the "Father of Professional Baseball" in honor of his role as organizer and manager of the 1869 Red Stockings, baseball's first openly all-professional team. Harry Wright was originally from England, and before his interests turned to baseball he was a star cricket player, like his father. Few realize that Harry Wright's father, Sam Wright, was the premier cricket player of his day in England. The similarities of the English pastime of cricket to baseball, the English origins of both games, and the connection of the two sports in the preprofessional days of baseball in the 1860s, combine to give this photograph a unique and fantastic significance. This photograph of Sam Wright, cricket paddle in hand, standing with his son, American baseball star Harry Wright, captures in a single photograph what is arguably the definitive symbolic image of the great English influences on baseball and its early development as America's National Pastime. When this photograph was taken, the game of baseball was still officially an amateur sport, but was quickly evolving to professional status. This card also represents one of the earliest images known of Hall of Famer Harry Wright.
The reverse has a photographer's advertising imprint for Edward Anthony's Photographic Studio, of 501 Broadway, New York. The imprint notes that this image is "from a photographic negative in Brady's National Portrait Gallery." Operating as "E. & H. T. Anthony & Co.," the New York-based Edward Anthony became famous in the world of photography immediately following the Civil War when advances in technologies allowed economical production of images. Anthony rented negatives from extremely prominent photographers such as Mathew Brady and would print and sell the photographs. He published a monthly catalog of "card photographs" of famous personalities that could be purchased by mail order. Most of these photographs are CDVs and, like this example, have Anthony's name or logo on the reverse. In the 1860s Edward Anthony owned the world's largest photographic supply stores, and his products were sold all over the world. The actual photograph is in Near Mint condition with flawless clarity. There is a tiny clip to the mount in the lower left corner, and some very light remnants of back damage, both minor flaws of no significance and mentioned for the sake of accuracy, otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. PSA has encapsulated the CDV and certified it as "Authentic." Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open).