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 $72,000 paid in 2015 for Mantle's 1951 Bowman 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 many 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.
The Big Cat was nearing the end of his career here, as he sports the 1951 AL "Golden Anniversary" sleeve patch. There are crop marks on front and notations of "1961 O.T. / John Mize 1936" on back. This image was used for the 1952 Bowman card, his 1952 Bread Label and the 1967 Venezuela.