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Lot # 394 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1933 R300 George C. Miller Original Production Photos (11) Including Unissued Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Rare Ivy Andrews

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $4,200

Presented is a fascinating and unique collection of eleven original photos related to the production of the R300 George C. Miller set, long revered as one of the most distinctive and beautiful of all card issues, as well as one of the rarest sets of the 1930s. This collection has a particularly interesting provenance as it is accompanied by correspondence dated August and November 1980 from Robert Wilson, the son of the artist responsible for the R300 artwork and design, to legendary collector Barry Halper. As noted in the correspondence, Wilson contacted Halper as he understood him to be someone potentially interested in acquiring these rare baseball items. Ultimately Barry Halper did obtain these pieces from Wilson and kept them as part of his advanced collection until they were sold in the massive Halper Collection auction conducted by Sotheby's (these items only appeared online and thus will not be found in the voluminous catalog, but they still have the Halper sticker affixed to the plastic sheet they have been stored in since that time). Interestingly, Wilson's letter dated August 15, 1980, also describes the uncut George C. Miller sheet pictured in volume two of The Sport Americana Baseball Price Guide as originally belonging to him. It is extremely likely that this is the very same sheet which appeared as lot #892 in REA's Spring 2009 auction as part of the Charlie Conlon Collection as we are only aware of the existence of a single R300 uncut sheet.

The collection: The eleven photos are highlighted by seven Hall of Famers, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (both of whom, interestingly, did not end up being a part of the final 32-card set; all other players represented were issued), and Ivy Andrews, the rare short-printed "chase card" from this set. (The Gehrig image is noted in an accompanying letter as appearing in the 1936 W463 "4-in-1" Exhibits card.) The eleven photos are presented on four sheets of thin photo paper. Two sheets, each measuring 8 x 10 inches, contain four photos each. Chuck Klein (HOF), Jim Bottomley (HOF), Dick Bartell, and Ivy Andrews are on one sheet, while Goose Goslin (HOF), Oscar Melillo, Babe Ruth (HOF), and Lou Gehrig (HOF), with backgrounds entirely or partially removed, appear on the other. The latter sheet is partially colorized, with skin tones added to each player's face. The third sheet measures 7.75 x 4.75 inches and features Bill Dickey (HOF) and Red Ruffing (HOF) also with backgrounds removed. The final sheet, which measures 5 x 7 inches, features only Charlie Grimm. Three of the four sheets present in Excellent or better condition, with only light wear at the corners. The sheet with Ruth and Gehrig has been folded in half (seemingly as intended, since it is folded through white space unrelated to any of the images) and has a small, diagonal crease in the lower right corner of the Ruth photo (not passing through the image).

This is a tremendous (and obviously unique!) collection of original production photos from the rare and highly respected R300 George C. Miller issue, with the fascinating provenance of originating directly from the family of the artist tasked with the design and production of this beautiful set. We have never seen any other artwork or production-related material of any kind from the R300 set. Total: 11 photos.

The items in this lot are part of the deaccessioned property of a prominent northeast museum which has selected Robert Edward Auctions to handle the sale of donated sportscards and memorabilia in an effort to fund purchases more in line with the mission and goals of the museum.
SOLD FOR $4,200

(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)