Thorn: Baseball’s most valuable prints

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on December 17, 2019:

The other day I received a printed catalog (Portfolio, Vol. LXXIX, №1) from The Old Print Shop, where I have been a customer now and then over the decades. The catalog was first offered in 1941; the shop has been a fixture at the corner of 30th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City since 1925; and it began in business under that name in 1898. These days most of the shop’s sales are online, so this venerable catalog will soon be discontinued. (“We are dedicated to our seventy-nine-year-old publication, Portfolio; however, we recognize that its days are numbered.”)

This latest number of Portfolio featured on its cover a print I knew well and had written about at Our Game, as part of a five-part series called Diamond Visions: Baseball’s Greatest Illustration Art: “New York Fashions for March 1870,” depicted above. [See:]

I knew that “New York Fashions for March 1870,” published by the Butterick sewing-pattern company, was beautiful and exceedingly scarce (fewer than ten copies extant, I had surmised). And yet I was a bit taken aback by its price: $16,500 for a small lithograph, just shy of 10” x 14”. For a full description, see:

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Originally published: December 19, 2019. Last Updated: December 19, 2019.