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    1924 Negro League World Series Panoramic Photograph. We aren't certain how many specimens of this spectacular panoramic photograph have survived the eight and a half decades since production, only that the number could almost surely be counted on a single hand. Given the significant cost of production of such an image during the first quarter of the twentieth century, the initial press run would have been quite limited, likely just enough to supply to the participating teams and several VIP's. The unwieldy dimensions and fragile nature of the photo would have been the undoing of most, and the fact that all would have been owned by African-Americans during a period in our history when poverty and hardship was a foregone conclusion would likewise make survival of such a piece unlikely.

    So it could be considered a legitimate miracle that the presented specimen has not only lived to see the twenty-first century, but that it has done so with apparent ease. Loss of photographic emulsion at the uppermost right corner, well clear of the athletes pictured, is the most serious offense, and some apparent water staining encroaches only upon the last two figures at left. This staining wanders the upper and lower white borders for several inches, but remains clear of the photo itself, and thus is hidden by the simple matting job. The other ninety-seven percent of the viewable image is free of any flaws worth mentioning, rare for any panoramic photo of this age regardless of subject.

    Matching the brilliant condition is the quality of the shot itself, a razor-sharp shot providing a view of the "First Colored World Series, Opening Game, Oct 11, 1924, Kansas City, Mo." Before a crowded grandstand, the Kansas City Monarchs and the Hilldale Giants stand in a long line, each identified by surname below. The bounty of Hall of Fame inductees is astounding: Bullet Rogan, Jose Mendez, Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson and Louis Santop figure among the combatants, with Monarchs owner J.L. Wilkinson, New York Cubans owner Alex Pompez and Chicago American Giants owner Rube Foster in civilian clothing at center.

    Rendered with such photographic skill that individual blades of grass are discernible at the players' feet, this photo undeniably ranks as one of the most impressive and important to document this tragically overlooked League. It's a special and very scarce opportunity to bring a truly magical piece into your private collection, and one that will offer new and delightful surprises with every subsequent viewing. Size 8x37".

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2009
    23rd-24th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
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