A 1911 autographed photograph of a barefoot Joe Jackson was sold for $1.47 million; the highest fee ever paid for an autographed sports photograph.
The photo, taken by Frank W. Smith, was sold by Christie’s and Hunt Auctions in New York as part of the auction, Extra Innings: A Private Collection of Important Baseball Memorabilia.
What makes this piece so unique is that, according to Christie’s and the card and memorabilia grading giant PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), this is the only photograph of Joe Jackson in existence that was signed by Jackson himself.
Notably, Jackson was illiterate, and as such, preferred to avoid signing documents if he could. Oftentimes, his wife would sign on his behalf.
Mike Heffner, president and partner at Lelands Auctions, put the value of the signed photograph into perspective, explaining: “Just his signature on a slip of paper is worth $50,000 to $100,000.”
Sold in 2015 with Heritage Auctions for $179,250, this unique photograph has skyrocketed in value, more than 720% in six years.
Other vintage items that have been sold by Christie’s and Hunt include a Babe Ruth professional model baseball bat with eight home run notches. This piece sold for a price tag of $1.05 million.