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1915 Boston Red Sox Glass Plate Negatives a Stunning Look into the Past

Legendary Auctions' Thursday, Nov. 21 close features some rare beauties, including Underwood & Underwood glass plate negatives featuring the 1915 Boston Red Sox that includes Babe Ruth and Tris Speaker. Step back in time and take a look.

While the first part of the Legendary Auctions sale ends tonight (Lots 1-953), featuring some impressive vintage Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia – among a host of other great items – I wanted to bring your attention to some of the items closing in the second part of the sale, on Thursday, Nov. 21.


This section has a pair of features that are right up the alley for Baseball Hall of Fame collectors. The first part I wanted to highlight was a selection of 1915 Underwood & Underwood Boston Red Sox original glass plate negative portraits. Jason Kimenker and his father are life-long Red Sox fans and sports and photography collectors. They found these glass plates in an attic in 1988 that pictured Babe Ruth, early images of Fenway Park and much more.
The glass plate negatives in the auction include two images of a young Babe Ruth, one standing and one throwing that are simply stunning to see. Another negative features Bill Carrigan and Tris Speaker next to the stands and another has a portrait of Harry Hooper. Other posed shots include Ernie Shore, Hal Janvrin, Larry Gardner, Vean Gregg, Hick Cady and Heine Wagner.


And while the glass plates are all from the 1915 Boston Red Sox, there is one notable exception – Ty Cobb makes an appearance in a 1915 Tigers uniform, presumably taken before a Red Sox/Tigers game.

The 4-by-5-inch plates are clear as a bell and it's like walking back 100 years into history. They are stunning. The plates were found in their original paper sleeves and have never appeared in the hobby. They have been seen in the Boston Public Library as part of a gallery of historic Boston photography. Each person who wins one of the lot will get a 5-by-7 print of the image, showcasing just what is possible with these negatives.

More original art of Baseball Hall of Famers in the Thursday portion of the sale are the original masterpieces of Dick Perez as showcased in the book The Immortals (2010). The works featured in the sale are noted here.

These are just a great opportunity to own one-of-a-kind works that drive off the beaten path of cards, game-used memorabilia or signed items. I can't wait to see what they sell for, and I'll be posting final results as the auctions close. Check out the auction here.