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Lot # 686 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extraordinary Babe Ruth Signed Oversized H&B Presentation Display Photograph

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $26,437.50

This spectacular and simply stunning oversized Babe Ruth signed presentation photograph originates from the archives of the Hillerich & Bradsby Company and is, in many respects, the finest Ruth signed photo in existence. The 11 x 14 professional studio portrait is of unparalleled quality and captures Ruth in a casual pose, smoking a cigar, and has been inscribed in black fountain pen in the upper left, “With best wishes – From Babe Ruth.” Ruth’s signature is boldly penned (grading a perfect “10”) and contrasts beautifully against the light gray background. The quality of the signature is further complemented by the remarkable clarity of the photo itself, which is flawless in its composition. As noted earlier, this piece originates from the archives of the Hillerich & Bradsby Company, makers of Louisville Slugger bats, and was personally ordered and presented by Ruth to H&B for display in the offices of H&B. It is accompanied by a letter from John A. Hillerich, President of the company, attesting to its extraordinary provenance. One of the most notable and desirable qualities of the piece is the fact that, unlike other known Ruth signed photos of this size, it has not been personalized to a specific individual. Ruth had a long association with H&B, as both a user and advertiser of its famed Louisville Slugger bats. Perhaps H&B specifically asked that this display piece not be inscribed to anyone in particular. In that way it could be displayed and used by the company in many different ways, and over an extended period of time without reference to a single individual. While the year of the photo is not known, it can be reasonably dated to circa 1940. This is a stunning image. Notable for the quality of its signature, quality of the photograph, large-format size, provenance, and photographic composition, this piece without question ranks as one of the finest Ruth signed photographs we have ever seen. This is a "one-in-a-million" (and possibly unique: we have never seen another) in terms of quality, display value, and presence for a Babe Ruth signed display photograph. The photo displays a light seven-inch vertical crease, extending upward from the base and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition, with absolutely flawless contrast. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $26,437.50

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