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    An eighteen-year old Georgia Peach sets sail for immortality on stormy seas

    1905 Ty Cobb Signed Photograph--Earliest Autographed Image Known! It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. No year in Ty Cobb's seventy-four on Earth was more momentous than 1905, one that transformed the shy young man from rural Georgia into "a sadistic, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport," according to his own autobiography. It was August 8th of this year that Cobb's mother shot and killed his father, a homicide for which Mrs. Cobb was ultimately acquitted, the jury convinced that the death had been a tragic instance of mistaken identity and self defense. Just three weeks later, Tyrus made his debut in a Detroit Tigers uniform, determined to make his father proud. "He never got to see me play," he explained, "but I knew he was watching me and I never let him down."

    The vast majority of Cobb autographs available in the modern hobby date to the three and a half decades of the legend's retirement, with a considerable premium placed upon those few examples deriving from his years of active duty. But here we present the very earliest signed image known to exist, a spellbinding photograph of a very young Cobb dated in an unknown hand to that painful and thrilling rookie season in the Majors.

    Cobb's black fountain pen ink inscription is clearly a very early format, far neater and more "boyish" than his handwritten letters from retirement that populate the hobby. It boldly pronounces, "Very Truly--Tyrus R. Cobb" with 9/10 strength. The sepia image measures 4x5.5", with the cardboard margins expanding the full dimensions to 7.5x9.5". A few stray spots of toning are little distraction, nor is professional restoration that smooths the rough edges and repairs a tear that once traveled through Cobb's salutation and the lower left corner of the image. Note that while one letter of Cobb's salutation is retouched, his autograph remains free of any enhancements. Otherwise the piece presents marvelously, framed to approximately 13x15". One of the most exciting artifacts to surface in years to tempt the advanced Cobb collector. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2013
    1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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