Heritage Auctions has added a new sale to its summer roster, a high-end assembly of more than 200 lots featuring elite photographs from 20th century American sports. Now open for bidding, the auction is expected to garner more than $400,000 in sales when the gavel drops Aug. 23 in extended bidding format.
“Vintage photography might be the most dynamic subset of the sports collectibles marketplace right now,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports auctions for Heritage Auctions. “The massive surge in pricing is a relatively recent phenomenon, and plenty of investors believe we’re still quite early in the genre’s growth.”
As is the case in many sports collectibles auctions, Babe Ruth is expected to dominate the top of the results once the final bids are cast, with a rarely seen 1919 Red Sox Type I image and a 1920s action shot used for his was used for 1926-29 Exhibit and 1928-29 Star Player Candy cards likely to compete for the top lot honors. Each is expected to sell for over $20,000.
Also on tap is the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Babe Bows Out” photograph from his 1948 Yankee Stadium farewell.
While the photo has been reprinted countless times, the example at auction bears the proper “Photo by Nat Fein, Staff Photographer, New York Herald Tribune,” stamping on the back and Fein’s signature on lower right front, personalized to a friend.
Also generating strong interest from bidders is a rookie image of Mickey Mantle may set a new record for the “Commerce Kid.” Emanating from the Louisville Slugger archives, the image was taken by noted St. Louis photographer George Dorrill, whose studio stamp joins that of Hillerich & Bradsby. It also has a $20,000+ pre-sale estimate.
Fans of Michael Jordan can bid on a photo taken during the hoop icon’s first game in October 1984 with Chicago Sun-Times provenance (and yes, his tongue is hanging out).
Other highlights include:
- 1934 Tour of Japan Original Team Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1
- 1927 New York Yankees Original News Photograph, PSA/DNA Type 1
- 1955-56 Roberto Clemente Original Photograph by Don Wingfield, PSA/DNA Type 1