The very first print made from Fein's original negative!1948 "The Babe Bows Out" Pulitzer-Prize Winning Original Photograph.
UPDATE: This lot has a PSA/DNA letter of authenticity designating the photo as "Type 1."
He called himself "just a human-interest photographer," snapping thousands of photos of life in the Big Apple during three decades as an employee of The New York Herald Tribune--marching union workers, sleeping circus elephants, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia leading the Sanitation Department orchestra. But Nat Fein's prolific career would ultimately come to be defined by a single image, a haunting study of fame and mortality entitled "The Babe Bows Out." Today this shot of Ruth's final appearance in Yankee pinstripes ranks among the most famous sports photos in history.
Leaning upon a bat transformed from the tool of his immortality into a cane to support his failing body, the Babe humbly accepts the honor of his jersey retirement this day, June 13, 1948. The vastness of Yankee Stadium extends toward the horizon, the grandstands packed with fans anxious for one final look at their dying hero. Near the right side of the image, two photographers prepare their cameras for another shot, but only Fein claimed this unique rear vantage point, explaining that he had considered the number "3" to be the story of the day.
While this image has been reprinted countless times in the six and a half decades since its birth, first generation prints remain the most elusive of prey for the advanced baseball photography collector. This particular example may be the most significant of them all, the very example utilized by The New York Herald Tribune for the June 14, 1948 issue, the first print from Fein's 4x5" negative. This was the first time the photo appeared in print. In short, this is the very first "The Babe Bows Out" that exists.
This elite distinction instantly renders all condition issues moot, yet we report a tape framing of the lower part of the image and scattered creasing in the interest of full disclosure. Reverse holds "Herald Tribute-Fein" stamping and even a 1992 pencil signature from the famed photographer. Dimensions 8x10". The photograph is further authenticated by a signed letter of provenance from Fein. Letter of provenance from Nat Fein.
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