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Lot # 1290 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1940s/1950s Josh Gibson and Joe Taylor SGC-Graded Postcards

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $593

Addendum: It has come to our attention that the Gibson postcard in this lot does not appear to be c.1940s as indicated. Based on Playle's postcard-dating guide, available here, the stamp box on the reverse dates from the 1950s to 1970s. Secondly, the handwriting on the reverse appears to be that of Jim Rowe, who was known to identify subjects on postcards he offered for sale in hobby publications during the 1970s.

Fascinating pair of SGC-graded postcards, featuring Negro League Hall of Famer Josh Gibson and baseball-showman Juggling Joe Taylor. 1) Circa 1940s Real-Photo Postcard: Josh Gibson (FAIR 20). Little is known with certainty about this card, but we believe it likely dates from the 1940s, which would be at the end of Gibson's prolific career with the Homestead Grays (he died tragically in 1947 at the age of 35). It is also possibly dates from shortly after his passing. We really have no way to know with certainty. The postcard depicts Gibson in a staged batting-follow-through pose which we had never seen before until researching this postcard. With a stroke of luck we discovered the original uncropped image from which this postcard was produced on John Thorn's official MLB blog site ( The larger photo offers a few clues (notably the scoreboard in the background) which may, with further research, provide additional information and perhaps even help nail down the date of this postcard. Presenting as Excellent with touches of wear to the corners, perfect centering, and no creases or wrinkles. Downgraded to the modest-assigned grade due to two small areas of paper loss and the name "Josh Gibson" written in pen on the reverse. Never mailed or postmarked. 2) Circa 1951 Ft. Wayne Printing Indianapolis Clowns Postcard: Juggling Joe Taylor. Encapsulated as "Authentic" by SGC. Striking image of Juggling Joe Taylor, the "Clowns' Newest Sensation," juggling bowling pins on front with an offer to obtain glossy photos of team members on the reverse. The Indianapolis Clowns were a Negro American League franchise, best known for signing Hank Aaron to his first professional contract. The postcard of Taylor presents in Near Mint condition and is inscribed on the front "To Mrs. Mabel Cordwell with kindest regards from Joe Taylor (Ed Ellis's protege) 3/10/51." The inscription, in blue ballpoint pen, has been authenticated by James Spence Authentication. This is a very attractive pair of fascinating Negro League postcards. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Total: 2 postcards. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $593

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