Please note: All 9 of the Jacobellis card-used photos in this auction (Lot #s 523 to 531) were photographed for our catalog in BGS holders, but have since been removed from those holders and authenticated by leading expert Henry Yee at PSA/DNA. Our updated online images now show the photos unencapsulated. Each offering comes with a Full LOA from PSA/DNA.
THE "GOLDEN AGE OF BASEBALL CARDS" PHOTO ARCHIVE: Featuring the Collections of William Jacobellis, Bob Olen, William C. Greene and More
Recent meteoric growth in our hobby's "card-used photo" sector can largely be traced to this very archive. When the Type I original photos of Topps/Bowman photographers William Jacobellis and Bob Olen first surfaced at auction in 2014, the terminology of "contact proof" was still relatively unknown. Now, any advanced photo collector immediately recognizes the extraordinary quality and value of Jacobellis contact proofs, as evidenced by the nearly $7,000 paid for Mickey Mantle's 1956 Topps photo in our August 2017 auction. Meanwhile, in that same sale, Olen's 1965 Topps photo of Joe Namath—described by expert Henry Yee as "the single most important football photograph ever offered"—hit the whopping record total of $66,000. And that marks the fourth time in the past 5 years that a card-used photo has reached such an echelon, with Mantle's 1951 Bowman and 1952 Topps photos selling for $72,000 and $60,000, while a 1933 Goudey Gehrig photo by Charles Conlon likewise garnered $60,000.
Thus, it's with great pride and pleasure that we present another impressive selection from the "Golden Age" archive. Each unique piece from the William Jacobellis Collection carries the Jacobellis copyright stamp and has received a Full LOA from PSA/DNA. These contact proofs represent the ultimate in crystal-clear image quality and are essentially the closest thing to the negative itself. Simply put, the contact-proof development process was not employed for everyday news-service photos printed on a tight publication deadline, but rather was reserved for specialized, studio-caliber purposes such as card production by Topps, Bowman and other leading companies. Dimensions are 4x5 (with a distinctive black border) and condition averages EX-MT.
Back in August, we offered the Jacobellis contact-proof photo of Willie's 1954 Topps head shot, and here we have the perfect companion piece in that same card's iconic action vignette. Jacobellis employed a bird's-eye view of the Giant slugger, and there are crop marks on the front as well as size notations on the reverse from the card-production process.