N173 Goodwin Old Judge cabinet proof of pitcher Bill Blair as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics. Produced by Gilbert & Bacon Photographic Studios of Philadelphia, the card is embossed "Copyrighted 1888, Goodwin & Co." in the upper left quadrant. Gilbert & Bacon was the premier baseball photographic studio in Philadelphia during the 1880s, and provided many images for use by Goodwin in the N172 and N173 Old Judge series. The "proof" cabinets produced by Gilbert & Bacon were not only provided to Goodwin and other companies for their commercial use, but were also often given to players, family, or made available to the public as a means of advertising for the studio. In the offered cabinet photo, which offers exceptional clarity, Blair is depicted with his hands cupped above his head, about to "catch" the ball that is displayed hanging from string above him (pose #30-5). A very elaborate advertisement for Gilbert & Bacon appears on the reverse. The cabinet card (4.25 x 6.5 inches) has ink notations on the reverse, otherwise an Excellent appearance from the front. This would be a significant and worthy addition to even the most advanced nineteenth-century baseball collection. Reserve $750.