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Lot # 729 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extraordinary Circa 1943 Babe Ruth Signed Photo

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $10,200

One of the best Ruth autographed photos we have ever offered: Intimate, close-up portrait of Babe Ruth in uniform, beautifully signed by Ruth in blue fountain pen. This photo features one of the finest Babe Ruth signatures we have ever seen on a photo, with each flawless pen stroke contrasting magnificently against the light background. When JSA examined this photo, we were particularly fascinated that they were able to date the signature with some degree of confidence to circa 1943 (such a specific year), and that it appeared they were able to actually match the writing instrument (or at least the style of writing instrument) as well as the specific color of the ink Ruth used in signing this photo with other items signed by Ruth at approximately the very same time (by comparing this signature to others that were dated in their exemplar file). The signature's impeccable condition is no doubt related to its provenance: Our consignor recently discovered this photo while administering the estate of his deceased aunt. According to the consignor, the aunt was somewhat of a hoarder, and the family spent weeks cleaning out the house. This photo was discovered almost by accident when a large folder of old documents and photos spilled out on the floor, revealing its hidden treasure. It would have been found anyway, but this was the dramatic way in which it was discovered by the original owner's relatives. The folder had been found stuffed in a drawer and probably had not seen the light of day for over fifty years. That half century of ideal storage, where it was free from exposure to both natural and artificial light, is almost certainly largely (if not entirely) responsible for the extreme boldness of the signature today. The other items they found included an Audie Murphy signed photo, but only the signed Ruth had significant monetary value. The photo (10 x 8 inches), which as noted most likely dates to circa 1943, displays a number of very light creases (most are only visible when viewed at certain angles) and is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $10,200

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