Quite possibly the greatest early image of Baseball Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson ever taken is this mounted (cabinet) silver gelatin original from 1904. This photo is attributed to one of the earliest works by famed photographer Charles Conlon as it resembles his work and his first assignments (in 1904) were photos of the New York Giants including Mathewson! Large, deep and bold the photo dates to the earliest days of Matty's dominance on the mound. Quality is off the charts and despite two creases on the left side and some light pinholes as well as some mild wear to the upper right corner area, the photo is a breathtaking work of art. Photo retains some of its original cabinet backing but was long ago skinned off of a larger backing by editors at a newspaper for easier storage. Editorial enhancements of Mathewson's name and the number "9" on the top corner could be removed from a conservator if desired. NOTE: Given the fact that Conlon was the only professional photographer in 1904 taking images of ballplayers on the field in uniform, that he was based in New York and documented to have taken images of Giants players at this time, we feel very comfortable in our attribution to Conlon as the photographer. We wanted however, to make this clearly known that it is our opinion and not a documented fact that this image of Mathewson was taken by Charles Conlon. One other example of this photograph exists, but it is a MUCH later example off a copy negative with attribution to Louis Van Oeyen. While there is a small chance this might be the case, we strongly disagree with this attribution as Van Oeyen rarely took portraits, never used this style of paper, was not taking pictures of baseball players in 1904, and would have had no access to a national League pitcher as his entire career was based in Cleveland.
Designation: Vintage 1
Overall Grade: 7/10