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Muhammad Ali Signed 16 x 20 Photo Collection (10)
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $8,295.00
Collection of ten identical 16 x 20-inch color photographs, each flawlessly signed on the front by Muhammad Ali in either blue Sharpie (6) or silver paint pen (4). This is the preeminent Muhammad Ali signed display photo, notable both for its size and subject matter. Each of the photos offered here is a Near-Mint copy of what many consider to be the greatest photographic image in sports history. Taken through the gifted lens of photographer Neil Leifer, the photo captures Ali as he stands triumphantly over Sonny Liston after knocking him out in the first round of their epic rematch on May 25, 1965, in Lewiston, Maine. In a later interview, Leifer discussed the origins of this photo and offered his opinion as to why it has stood the test of time:
I took my most famous picture on May 25, 1965, when Ali stopped Sonny Liston with one punch in the first round of their heavyweight championship fight in Lewiston, Maine. When Sports Illustrated published its special issue, "The Century's Greatest Sports Photos," my picture of Ali standing over Liston was the cover, and I was honored and thrilled by SI's choice. "It is a great picture of a key moment, filled with emotion and destined to remain etched in the minds of its viewers," says Steve Fine, SI's director of photography. "You can describe this picture to someone, without showing it to them, and they know exactly what you're talking about. It's a true icon of sports photojournalism." This image represents the way people want to remember Ali: strength, confidence and braggadocio. A two-minute fight might be a major disappointment for the fans, but for a photographer, it doesn't matter whether it goes 15 rounds or 15 seconds. All any editor ever expected from me was a great knockout picture. In Lewiston, the knockout happened exactly where I wanted it to, and my only thought was, "Stay right there, Sonny! Please don't get up!"
It should be noted that all of the these signatures were personally obtained by our consignor at the 1988 "Cincinnati Classic," held at the Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was a large, five-day sports-collectors convention and one of the primary attractions of the city's celebratory "All-Star" weekend in 1988. (The 1988 Major League All-Star Game was held in Cincinnati that year.) Muhammad Ali was one of the twenty-seven celebrity signers at the show, along with Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and many other Hall of Fame baseball players. The photos have been carefully stored away and have literally not seen the light of day since their signing in 1988. As noted earlier, all of the photos are in Near Mint condition. This is an outstanding collection of ideal 16 x 20-inch Muhammad Ali signed photos that are rarely offered in such quality or quantity. Total: 10 photos. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,295.00
(Click the smaller thumbnails to the left and right (if any) to cycle through each photo in the gallery of images for this lot.)