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1880s John C. Heenan CDV

1880s John C. Heenan CDV

John Carmel Heenan was the first acknowledged heavyweight champion of America who went overseas for the title, losing a bout with Englishman Tom Sayers in 1860. The fight was huge. According to one attendee: "Several members of Parliament were present [and] the Duke of Sutherland, the Marquis of Stafford, and Colonel Peel. There were about two thousand persons, and in the crowd were very many of the London celebrities in the literary, artistic, and sporting world."  Before he left New York, Heenan posed for pioneering photographer Charles DeForest Fredricks, the result of which were four images that were made into cards for Fredricks' Specialite series of cards. The Specialite cards were the first boxing cards issued for commercial sale. As was the case with many American boxing images, anonymous card makers in the States and in England made 'pirate' CDVs using the Fredricks cards. This is one of them, as demonstrated by the mount style and second-generation photographic quality. The Specialite cards are rarely offered for sale, meaning that those who want a 19th century albumen image of HOFer Heenan will want a CDV like this for their collections.

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