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Lot
81713

The Finest Christy Mathewson Signed Photograph Extant....

2009 April Signature Vintage Sports Memorabilia Auction #714

 
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Offers to date: $55,000 on August 24, 2014
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Auction Ended On: Apr 24, 2009
Item Activity: 19 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location:

Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

Description:
The Finest Christy Mathewson Signed Photograph Extant.
Please note that a full Letter of Authenticity from James Spence Authentication will accompany this lot.


If our auction lot title is inaccurate, we certainly have not seen the evidence to the contrary. This simply stunning artifact earns the highest marks possible in each and every category of judgment, beginning, of course, with the identity of the man it honors. The inaugural class Hall of Fame pitcher is captured at the height of his storied career, the combination of dark pants, cap and striped socks placing the image at his dominant 1911-12 period when he helped to deliver the National League pennant to Coogan's Bluff consecutively. Posting earned run averages of 1.99 and 2.12, Matty placed first and second respectively among all Senior Circuit hurlers these years.

The image itself is a masterpiece of photographic art, with a regal legend captured in razor sharp sepia tones against the ghostly expanse of empty grandstand. Clearly created for a VIP, the dramatic image boasts scarce and expensive 11x14" dimensions, affixed to a cardboard mount that extends a half inch at each side. As our catalog imagery should properly attest, just a few insignificant freckles in the pale sky cause the photo to stray from pure perfection. A NRMT-MT rating is entirely justified.

The same can be said for the inscription itself, a black fountain pen, "Yours Truly, Christy Mathewson" that could grade nothing less than a 10/10 for boldness. Cultured collectors are well aware that the tiny supply of Mathewson signed photos are personalized almost without exception, so the lack of such an attribution here represents the scarcest and most prized of variations.

The end result is a "perfect storm" of desirability for elite autograph hounds, and a piece that captures the spirit of the Dead Ball days in a way that few others can. Like the man himself, the piece is one of the most artful, dignified and brilliant in the game. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.

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