2023 February Finest Auction

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Babe Ruth was coming off of his greatest season in 1927 when he signed this photo early in 1928. He had just clubbed 60 home runs (a record that would stand for 33 years), batted an astonishing .356, and had 165 RBIs. His Murderer's Row lineup rolled to the World Series championship in 1927 as well. 

Ruth spent his offseason following the 1927 campaign out of the limelight of New York and spent a good amount of time on hunting expeditions. In particular, Ruth often embarked to North Carolina, where he found a friend in William B. Blades, Jr. (son of business magnet William Blades Sr.) and bonded with Blades over their mutual passion for hunting. Ruth and Blades would go out hunting ducks and deer on Blades' massive boat, aptly named "The Decoy".The Bambino had this extradordinary 11.75" x 16.5" photograph developed for his friend Blades and beautifully inscribed it as follows: "To My Pal W. B. Blades, Thanking you for the wonderful time on 'The Decoy', Wishing our friendship lasts forever, From your friend, Babe Ruth, Jan 15, 1928." It should be noted that while large format photographs are a commonplace now, it was a custom order project in the 1920s, which would have required special ordering by Ruth from a lab equipped to develop photographs of oversized dimensions. Hence, Ruth photographs of this size are extraordinarily scarce and were only issued to close friends and associates at Ruth's request.

The photograph has been bonded to a photographer's mat of equal size (likely done at the time it was developed to keep it from getting damaged), and despite being 90+ years old, the photograph stands in overall very good condition with minor handling wear along the edges and Ruth's black fountain pen signature and inscription maintaining desirable dark hue even to this day.

A testament to it's desirability, this photograph was originally apart of the historic Barry Halper collection, and comes with a Letter of Provenance from the buyer who originally acquired it from Sotheby's historic sale of the Halper Collection in the 1990s. From the prime date of the image and autograph to the extraordinary size to the superb provenance, you'd be hard pressed to find a more impressive Ruth signed photograph. Accompanied by dual Letters of Authenticity from James Spence Authentication (JSA) and Beckett Authentication Services (BAS).

1928 Babe Ruth Autographed 11.75" x 16.5" Oversized Photograph Signed Months After Historic 1927 Season! - Ex-Halper Collection, Beckett & JSA LOAs
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