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Willie Mays Type I Contact Proof Original Photo by Jacobellis (BGS Authentic) - Used for 1954 Topps Card

Lot Number 601

Quantity: Bid Starts: 07/21/2017 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 1000.00  Bid Ends: 08/04/2017 00:00:52 
Bid Count: 14  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 2900.00  Time Left: Ended
View Count: 1495   
Bid Reserve: Reserve Met    
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This item has a reserve (estimated value $1,400-$3,000).

The William Jacobellis Photo Collection burst on the hobby scene back in 2014, when the esteemed photographer's contact-proof original photos made a big splash at auction—most notably those of his images used for iconic 1950s Topps and Bowman baseball cards. Examples included '54 Bowman Mays ($5,000), '54 Bowman Mantle ($4,500), '55/'56 Topps Banks ($4,500) and 1952 Bowman Musial ($4,000). The upward trajectory followed a recent trend for ALL Type I original photos used in card production, epitomized by the $60,000 paid in 2012 for Mantle's 1952 Topps photo.


Now we're pleased to offer a nice selection from the Jacobellis Collection, with each well-preserved piece featuring the Jacobellis copyright stamp and having been encapsulated as "Authentic" by Beckett Grading Services. It is important to note as well that Type I "contact proofs" represent the ultimate in crystal-clear image quality and are essentially the closest thing to the negative itself. Simply put, the contact-proof development process was not employed for everyday news-service photos printed on a tight publication deadline, but rather was reserved for specialized, studio-caliber purposes such as card production by Topps, Bowman and other leading companies. It has been said that many of the Jacobellis Collection photos are unique, one-of-a-kind survivors. They measure 4x5 (with a distinctive black border) and average EX-MT condition.


For 1954 Topps #90, only Willie's colorized bust image was used. Yet here, we see the entire scene in its stark, original, black-and-white state, with absolutely perfect focus. Truly, the sharp clarity and vivid contrast are beyond belief. We see the veins on Mays' arms, the wood-grain on his bat, the texture of the dugout wall, and the pebbles in the field dirt. The Say Hey Kid's teeth sparkle and his uniform shines. A simply stunning artifact. Pinholes in the corners and light surface wear.

Pictures  (Click on Photo to Enlarge)