An archive of original glass plate negatives from legendary baseball photographer Charles Conlon remains in limbo as courts sort through various claims to the large collection.
Dealer John Rogers paid The Sporting News $1 million for more than 8,300 images in the Conlon Collection in 2010. He sold off a 25% ownership stakes to a private individual in the Bay Area later that year for a little more than $1 million and a 40% stake to Legendary Auctions for another $400,000 after the auction company had loaned him the same amount to help cover what Rogers paid The Sporting News.
In the deal, 67 of the negatives were delivered to Legendary including some of the most valuable photos featuring Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson and Walter Johnson. Legendary then began the process of selling prints at various price levels.
However, Rogers is now facing several lawsuits in connection with his businesses with banks among those seeking to recover money from unpaid loans.
So what are all of those old negatives worth?
They’re certainly historic and desirable, but working with glass plate negatives isn’t always easy and court papers would seem to indicate conflicting values. Arkansas Business breaks down the Conlon portion of what’s become a multi-tiered legal situation.