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1951 George Kell Contact-Proof Original Photo by Jacobellis (Type I) - Used for 1952-1954 Red Man Cards

Lot Number 388

Quantity: Bid Starts: 02/26/2021 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 150.00  Bid Ends: 03/11/2021 22:00:00 
Bid Count: Overtime: 30 Minutes
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Description



Take a look at Kell's Red Man cards and you'll see that the artists swapped out the Yankee Stadium facade for a blank background in the 1952 Tigers version, then changed it to a Red Sox uniform and Fenway Park backdrop when he moved along to Boston in 1953, and recycled the image again with a new White Sox uniform in '54! But nothing beats the well-lit, quite stunning original photo, which can be dated to 1951 from the A.L. 50th anniversary sleeve patch.

 

 

THE "GOLDEN AGE OF BASEBALL CARDS" PHOTO ARCHIVE: Featuring the Master Photography Collections of Jacobellis, Olen, Barr, Greene and More 


With the recent record sale of a 1952 Topps Mantle photo for $375,000, our hobby's "card-used photo" sector has officially reached a new stratosphere. It's only a matter of time now before we see a barrier-breaking photo—whether Mantle's or a T206 Wagner photo by Carl Horner—hit the million-dollar echelon. And as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.


Thus, it's our great pleasure to present another selection of offerings from the esteemed "Golden Age" archive, which has played a fundamental role in expanding the popularity, value and knowledge around card-used photos. When the Type I originals of Topps/Bowman photographers Bill 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 of Jacobellis contact proofs, as evidenced by the $21,500 paid for a non-card-used 1951 Mickey Mantle rookie photo in our May 2018 auction. Meanwhile, in an earlier sale, Olen's 1965 Topps rookie photo of Joe Namath—described at that time by expert Henry Yee as "the single most important football photograph ever offered"—hit the whopping record total of $66,000.


Each unique piece in the Bill Jacobellis Collection carries the Jacobellis copyright stamp, measures 4x5, and averages EX to EX-MT condition. 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.



 
 
Pictures  (Click on Photo to Enlarge)