Lelands.com’s Fall 2008 catalog auction is now live, and according to Lelands’ officials, includes 600 lots of historic photographs valued at more than $500,000.
The auction, which concludes Nov. 21, also features the collection of Dallas Cowboys’ team photographer Ron St. Angelo, whose single-lot offering is described on Lelands.com’s website. According to Lelands officials, the collection is valued at a $500,000 and is believed to be one of the finest, single-photographer lots ever offered.
“This will be our first auction in what has become a challenging economic time in America,” noted Joshua Leland Evans, the company founder. “We have done auctions during recessions and found that people invest more in collectibles during such times. This, of course, is a “recession-plus,” and a real test of people’s need to find alternatives to traditional investments. We think the marketplace will be watching this closely.”
There is more than photography to this auction, including noteworthy Roberto Clemente items obtained during a buying trip to Puerto Rico by Evans. There is a handwritten letter signed “Momen,” (a Clemente nickname); a collection of 77 Clemente photographs offered as a single lot; his 1972 signed contract and supplement (his last) which covers his pension in case of death; his 1972 All-Star Game-used bat; his batting helmet from the mid-1960s; a mint, single-signed baseball; a single-signed ball from 1971, hit No. 2819 and a mid-1960s game-worn uniform from his San Juan Senadores Winter League team.
Also included is the assignment document transferring Ted Williams from San Diego to the Boston Red Sox in 1937, signed by Williams.
There are Boston Red Sox World Series rings from 2004 and 2007, in their original boxes, bearing the names of high-ranking team employees and offered as separate lots, along with a program from the 1903 World Series – Boston vs. Pittsburgh – the first modern World Series. It is part of a remarkable program collection dating back to the 19th-century Temple Cup and is nearly a complete run, along with a complete run of All Star Game programs going back to 1933, consigned by a prominent sportswriter/collector.
New York Yankees items include signed team baseballs from 1927 and 1928, (including one with manager Miller Huggins), three Babe Ruth single-signed balls, a 1932 Ruth game-used hickory bat and a piece of the original Yankee Stadium façade, one of only two original pieces known to exist, and maintained for years by the owner of the demolition company. The façade is about two feet by two feet, and is painted architectural copper.
Special attention is called to an 1898 Cap Anson silver presentation bat, Otto Graham’s 1950s Cleveland Browns game-worn jacket and items from Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, including his whistle, signed handwritten letters and an archive of documents related to the game’s invention. These items come directly from a family member, and it is the first time they are being offered to the public.
From the vast photo offerings come several images of the Chicago Black Sox, including Joe Jackson; rare dead ball era images of Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Edd Roush, Evers, Eddie Collins, Chief Bender, John McGraw, Frank Chance and Ed Walsh; original Carl Horner images used on the T206 tobacco cards; Nat Fein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Babe Bows Out;” vintage photos of Ruth and Lou Gehrig, exceptional stadium images; including Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field; a large Jackie Robinson collection, including photos of him in his first game with Brooklyn in 1947; famous moments like Sandy Amoros’ 1955 World Series catch and Willie Mays’ 1954 World Series catch; and vintage boxing images of John L. Sullivan, James J. Corbett, Jack Johnson, Jess Willard, Stanley Ketchel, Tom Sharkey, Bob Fitzsimmons, Joe Gans and Battling Siki.
Historical photography includes a vast civil rights movement collection, crime photography depicting Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd, John Dillinger, Ma Barker, Albert Anastasia, Lucky Luciano, Legs Diamond, and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. There are also several Ansel Adams vintage prints.
Also included in the sale is a collection of U.S. presidents throwing out first pitches, back to William Howard Taft, historical images like the Hindenberg, the Titanic, Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald and Vietnam War images. Original photographs, either off the negative or original transmission/production at a newspaper’s photo lab, have taken on a life of their own in the collectibles market, largely led by Lelands.com over the past several years.
Hollywood is represented by such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Boris Karloff, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin.
Full lot descriptions can be accessed with key words, and found at www.lelands.com.