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Complete 1974/1976 Sports Illustrated Signed "Living Legends" Lithograph Collection (12)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,525
In 1974 Sports Illustrated , America’s leading sports publication, offered its readers the opportunity to purchase six limited edition lithographs featuring the artwork of some of this country’s top illustrators including Gustav Rehberger, Harvey Dinnerstein, Bob Peak, Daniel Schwartz, and Bernie Fuchs. The theme of the lithographs was that of Immortal Moments of Sports, with eight different "Living Legends" featured in total. The printing of those lithographs was limited to 1,500 numbered copies, and all were autographed by the featured "legends" in pencil across the bottom white border. In order to assure collectors that no future prints would be made, Sports Illustrated destroyed all of the original plates. That first series of six limited-edition signed prints proved so popular with collectors that Sports Illustrated decided to offer an additional series of six limited-edition signed prints two years later. Those 1976 offerings, however, were produced in even smaller quantities than the first series, with only 1,000 of each printed. Offered is a complete set of all twelve limited-edition "Living Legends" prints issued by Sports Illustrated . All are autographed by the respective athletes in pencil along the bottom border as issued. Six of the prints (duly noted) have been certified by PSA/DNA and bear the company's certification label on the reverse. It should be noted that of the thirteen athletes represented here, seven are now deceased. The first (1974) series consists of the following: 1) Joe DiMaggio. (5/1500). Some tape affixed to the reverse from previous framing, otherwise Nr/Mt. 2) Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney. (1331/1500). A few minor creases in the upper border areas, otherwise Nr/Mt. PSA/DNA Certified. 3) Arnold Palmer. (176/1500). Some tape affixed to the reverse from previous framing and minor rippling, otherwise Nr/Mt. 4) Johnny Unitas. (336/1500). Nr/Mt. PSA/DNA Certified. 5) Eddie Arcaro. (350/1500). Nr/Mt. 6) Joe Louis/Max Schmeling. (1404/1500). Nr/Mt. PSA/DNA Certified. The second (1976) series of six signed prints is comprised of the following: 1) Wilt Chamberlain/ John Havlicek. (566/1000). Some small corner creasing in the upper and lower left corners, otherwise Nr/Mt. PSA/DNA Certified. 2) Stan Musial. (930/1000). Some light corner creasing in the upper left and along the bottom border, otherwise Nr/Mt. PSA/DNA Certified. 3) Rod Laver. (826/1000). Nr/Mt. 4) Billie Jean King. (157/1000). Some corner creasing in the upper left and along the bottom border, otherwise Nr/Mt. 5) Red Grange. (412/1000). Some corner creasing in the upper left and along the right border, otherwise Nr/Mt. PSA/DNA Certified. 6) Jack Nicklaus. (535/1000). Some tape affixed to the reverse from previous framing and water damage along the lower third of the print. Vg. The price of these lithographs during their time of original issue was $75 - $100 per print; however, Sports Illustrated did not liquidate their entire inventory during that period and the price appreciated substantially over the years; the final 100 were offered by the magazine in 1990 for between $400 and $600 a piece. With the exception of the Nicklaus print, all of the condition flaws mentioned are extremely minor in nature and can easily be matted out in framing. An outstanding high-grade collection of these classic Sports Illustrated prints, ideal for display as intended. These prints are seldom offered as a complete set and it has been over ten years since we last offered one. Each measures 22" x 18" with the exception of the Grange and Billie Jean King, which are slightly larger, measuring 25" x 20". LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $3,525
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