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1952 Hoyt Wilhelm Contact-Proof Original Photo by Jacobellis (Type I) - Used for 1954 Topps #36

Lot Number 391

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



"I got to messing with the [knuckleball] in high school," Hoyt Wilhelm said. "I started to see that the ball was doing something. I figured it was my only ticket to the big leagues, 'cause I couldn’t throw hard, and I knew if I was going to play ball, I'd have to make it some other way." Wilhelm demonstrates his knuckleball grip against a backdrop of the iconic Polo Grounds architecture. It's always fascinating to see small card images transformed into expansive original stadium scenes—and you can even see the blue-ink crop marks! Card-used for both 1954 Topps and 1955 All American Sports Club.

 

 

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)