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Old 10-14-2011, 08:44 PM
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Default Circa 1846 Daguerreotype – Alexander Joy Cartwright debate

This article was written by hobbyist and Net54baseball member M.ark.Fim.o.ff and has to do with a photo owned by another Net54baseball member and hobbyist, Co.rey Shanu.s. Both gave approval to post this. It is a rather long article and before you make a comment on it please read it. After a day or two, taking comments into consideration; a poll will be added to this thread so you can voice your opinion. Most likely your votes will be able to be seen and I will make that clear when the poll goes up. You will be on your honor system to have read the article to vote. Admittedly I haven’t read it yet, but will. Thanks to both gentlemen for allowing this debate to take place in an open forum. It’s a passionate subject. I feel this topic should be posted on the main page because of it’s importance. *All comments are welcome and you need to be either well known or put your full name in your post.

The article is a .pdf you can easily download at the link below the cover page. Once clicked then click the "Download Now" words and you will be on your way.




http://www.gamefront.com/files/20873...hoto_10_11_pdf


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Last edited by Leon; 10-14-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:45 PM
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I want to start by saying that I think that Corey is a terrific guy, very sincere and knowledgeable in many areas related to collecting. The reason for this debate is that we very much disagree on how one should determine who is pictured in an early baseball photo.

Part of Corey’s argument in support of the Cartwright ID of the man back-row center in his half-plate dag (HPD) is that there are other Knickerbockers in the photo. In particular he identifies subject G as Doc Adams. In support of that he includes a side by side facial comparison. Also, in a 1997 article in VCBC, he mentions that other collectors agree with him. In the article he states, “…I, as well as other persons respected and experienced in photo identification with whom I consulted, feel very comfortable with this Curry identification.” I post the following to dispute that ID and also address the lack of facial ID skill on the part of both Corey and the collectors who had then agreed with him (whomever they may be). I ask, are you “comfortable” with this ID?
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:54 PM
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I consider myself to be friends with both Corey and Mark and I have read the article in its entirety. First, for someone who is not an expert in facial recognition I must say that both sides provided me with a real education, and for this I thank you both. After reading the article through, and again I am not anywhere near an expert in the area, I lean towards the images in the dag probably not being Cartwright and the other two images almost surely not being the Knickerbocker members that they were thought to be.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:05 PM
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I have read the entire newsletter and the following are my thoughts. First and foremost I believe it's important to say that I respect that all parties involved showed a refreshing level of decorum even in spite of differing opinions with such an important item in question.

After reading and rereading all of the information presented by both sides I feel that Mark and Mr. Mancusi presented a great deal of information that shows there is a significant amount of doubt that the subject in question is Alexander Cartwright, much more doubt than probability. While Mr. Richard and the owner of the HPD did on several occasions disagree with the findings or call into question the credentials of the parties presenting this opinion they did not present enough or any evidence to show that the person in question was highly likely to be Cartwright. One can not simply prove that it is Cartwright by saying that it wasn't proven with certainty that it isn't Cartwright.

In my opinion after reading all of the findings by everyone involved that at best it could be said that it's unlikely to be Cartwright and until further evidence can be produced to back up the claim that it is Cartwright it shouldn't be considered to be him.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:50 AM
benjulmag benjulmag is offline
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Mark, I will respond to your post in time. You do not mention Curry. Is that because you didn't focus on it or because you thought the comparison Currys matched up well?

The point I wish to respond to in this post is that of Abravefan11. First, thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter and provide your views. Regardless whether I agree with them or not, I appreciate your contribution to this discussion.

The point you raise is an important one -- who has the burden of proof? In many instances, where there is no provenance or other external evidence linking two comparison subjects, and all one has are the images alone, then clearly one can't establish that they are the same individual merely by showing they are not different individuals. In such an instance, to establish the identification, compelling reasons must be shown via resemblance and a matching of various facial features.

But that is not what we are dealing with here. In this instance the Cartwright family has identified Alexander Cartwright (AJC) as being in the image. This identification dates to the 1930's and comes from AJC's grandson Bruce, who was ten years old when AJC died. One would certainly think that Bruce's views on this issue would be identical to those of his father and his grandfather. It is my opinion, given such extraordinary provenance, supported too by other ancilliary information which I mention in the newsletter, that THE BURDEN OF PROOF HAS NOW SHIFTED SUCH THAT TO REFUTE THE CARTWRIGHT IDENTIFICATION IN THE HALF PLATE ONE MUST ESTABLISH THE EXISTENCE OF EXCLUSIONARY DIFFERENCES (OR SOMETHING DARN CLOSE TO THAT). My expert, arguably as respected an expert in photographic facial examination as anyone in the field, opines quite emphatically that not only are there no exclusionary differences, but that the most photo ID can say in the negative about the ID is that AJC is possibly depicted in the half plate.

Or to say it another way, the evidence you say one must have to establish the ID needn't just be photographic evidence. It can also be extraordinary provenance, which exists here.

Last edited by benjulmag; 10-15-2011 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:29 AM
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Curry does not match, but the presentation is not so brief so I was thinking of saving that for the next newsletter. If I can't do it in a page or less I don't really want to do it here. We’ll see where this goes.


I’d rather stick to discussing my initial point before going into provenance, I would for now only say that, for reasons given in the newsletter and other reasons, in my view the provenance is less than perfect. Your all caps statement assumes that everyone will agree with you that the provenance is “rock solid”. They may not. It is not a law of physics that one must have an absolute exclusionary difference to overcome the provenance in this case. As people read and digest this there will be a range of views on how good or lacking the provenance is and how good or bad the facial ID is, and how much facial mismatch must be shown to overcome the provenance. My interpretation of Tim’s view is that given all that he has read, the facial differences demonstrated by myself and Mr. Mancusi were sufficient to overcome whatever probative value that he saw in the provenance. That is a valid view to take.

Last edited by bmarlowe1; 10-15-2011 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abravefan11 View Post
I have read the entire newsletter and the following are my thoughts. First and foremost I believe it's important to say that I respect that all parties involved showed a refreshing level of decorum even in spite of differing opinions with such an important item in question.
I thought it was good hearing/sharing the opinions of those not directly involved - those posts seemed to be stand-alone, but still valid.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:50 PM
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I find that in general people interested in this subject are highly intelligent. Based on quite a few emails, I know that they fully understand that two competent experts can publish highly conflicting opinions, and they understand the reasons why. Certainly attorneys should understand this quite well. To say that either one of the experts doesn’t know how to compare faces in photographs is beyond ludicrous. I never said that about Mr. Richards.

Last edited by bmarlowe1; 10-16-2011 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:01 AM
novakjr novakjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmarlowe1 View Post
I want to start by saying that I think that Corey is a terrific guy, very sincere and knowledgeable in many areas related to collecting. The reason for this debate is that we very much disagree on how one should determine who is pictured in an early baseball photo.

Part of Corey’s argument in support of the Cartwright ID of the man back-row center in his half-plate dag (HPD) is that there are other Knickerbockers in the photo. In particular he identifies subject G as Doc Adams. In support of that he includes a side by side facial comparison. Also, in a 1997 article in VCBC, he mentions that other collectors agree with him. In the article he states, “…I, as well as other persons respected and experienced in photo identification with whom I consulted, feel very comfortable with this Curry identification.” I post the following to dispute that ID and also address the lack of facial ID skill on the part of both Corey and the collectors who had then agreed with him (whomever they may be). I ask, are you “comfortable” with this ID?
Adams 2 looks an awful lot like John Astin..

Last edited by novakjr; 10-15-2011 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:05 AM
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And John Astin played Gomez Addams...another Adams.
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