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Spectacular Lou Gehrig Signed Photo with Amazing Provenance!
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $10,575
Incredible and classic original photograph of Lou Gehrig at bat in a sandlot game, signed by the legendary “Iron Horse” in the lower right. Gehrig has inscribed the photo in black fountain pen “To Thomas Miley from Lou Gehrig,” with both the signature and inscription grading a strong “9.” This is one of the finest Lou Gehrig signed photos we have ever seen, with regard both to the subject matter and signature quality, and one that harkens back to a simpler time in America. Gehrig, like Ruth, was normally quite accessible to his young fans and one can appreciate the look of joy on the faces of the many youngsters in the background as they watch their idol up close and personal. Although undated, both the signature style and Gehrig’s youthful countenance strongly suggest that the photo originates from the mid 1920s. Despite his stature and popularity, Gehrig-signed photos are extremely rare today, and many times scarcer than Ruth-signed photos. This example is exceptional in all regards and would be counted among the highlights of even the most advanced autograph collections. The photo (7.5 x 9.5 inches) has been affixed to a cardboard backing and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition, displaying outstanding clarity and contrast. Our consignor purchased this photo at auction in 2001 and according to the original lot description the Thomas Miley to whom this photo is inscribed is actually the young boy wearing the oversized catcher’s mask and mitt behind Gehrig (even with the mask covering much of his face, one can still see his ear-to-ear grin as he poses with Gerhig). Thomas Miley apparently grew up to be a man of high social stature, for the photo is accompanied by two separate one-page typed letters to Miley from, respectively, Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower. The Nixon letter (7 x 9 inches), dated 2/9/54 and written upon Office of the Vice President letterhead, has been secretarially signed in blue ink and is accompanied by its original mailing envelope. The Eisenhower letter (7 x 10.25 inches), dated 10/26/61 and written upon Eisenhower’s personal letterhead, is boldly signed “Dwight D Eisenhower” in black felt-tip pen (grading “9/10”). The Nixon letter makes note of Miley’s title in the address: “Executive Vice President Commerce and Industry Association of New York.” Both letters display normal mailing folds and are otherwise in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++. SOLD FOR $10,575
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