The second day of the Golden Age of Baseball auction at Christie’s in New York wrapped up Thursday with the sale of dozens of original vintage baseball photographs.
Among those sold was an 8×10 image that card collectors will surely recognize. Taken early in his rookie season of 1954, the photo is the same shot used to create Hank Aaron’s rookie card. The pre-sale estimate was $1,500-$2,000 but the photo wound up selling for a remarkable $32,500 including the buyer’s premium.
A 7×9 photo of Willie Mays, the image used for his 1953 Topps card, sold for $12,500 against the same $1,500-$2,000 estimate.
The collection belonged to original organizers of the online National Pastime Museum and featured numerous photos of some of baseball’s most famous names from the past, many taken by noted photographers of the day such as Charles Conlon, Louis Van Oeyen, George Grantham Bain and Paul Thompson.
A classic Conlon close-up shot of Babe Ruth, possibly snapped during his 60-home run season of 1927, more than tripled the pre-sale prediction when it realized $30,000. A circa 1920 photo of Ruth seated in the Yankees dugout, taken by Thompson, realized $22,500 against a $10,000-$15,000 estimate while one the most iconic images of Christy Mathewson, used for the creation of Mathewson’s T206 baseball cards, soared to $20,000 despite missing the lower right corner.
The first day of the auction featured game-used bats, autographs and baseball cards. In all, over $7.1 million of cards and memorabilia were sold.