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Hergé

HERGÉ TINTIN ON A MARCHÉ SUR LA LUNE (T.17), CASTERMAN 1954 Planche originale n°59, prépubliée dans Le Journal de Tintin belge n° 49 du 9 décembre 1953. Encre de Chine et gouache blanche sur papier 37 × 51 cm (14,57 × 20,08 in.) Drôle de drame ! — Il ne manque pas de scènes dramatiques dans On a marché sur la Lune. Celle-ci en fait partie. La fusée construite par le professeur Tournesol a permis à Tintin et à ses compagnons de fouler le sol lunaire et d’y mener des investigations scientifiques. Elle effectue son voyage de retour. Cette équipée a déjà coûté la vie à deux personnes, dont les corps voguent désormais dans l’espace. Mais on n’est peut-être pas au bout du compte : les réserves d’oxygène sont épuisées, et l’engin fonce vers la Terre en pilotage automatique. À bord, tout le monde est peut-être mort ! C’est en raison de cet ultime suspense, particulièrement insoutenable, qu’Hergé prend garde de ne pas révéler ce qui se passe à l’intérieur de la fusée. Montrer Tintin à ce stade du récit serait tuer le suspense ! Privilégier l’incertitude c’est, au contraire, le maintenir. Pour rendre la situation haletante, Hergé a d’autres tours ans son sac : un montage cinématographique, avec alternance de cadrages et de points de vue, une extrême rigueur documentaire, ici focalisée sur les véhicules et sur le matériel d’incendie… Et puis, un ultime gag qui, s’il peut prêter à rire, ajoute un drame au drame : le croisement des trajectoires de la voiture et de la fusée en phase d’atterrissage ! Sans la moindre retouche — Publiée à l’origine dans Le Journal de Tintin numéro 49 (édition belge) du 9 décembre 1953, cette planche était la 114e sur les 117 qui y furent reproduites à partir du 30 mars 1950 sous le titre On a marché sur la Lune. La suite est connue : introduction de cases de grand format, ajout de l’une ou l’autre planche, suppression de séquences entières, ajustements divers… cet ensemble fut, par la suite, largement remanié par Hergé afin de donner naissance à deux albums distincts, comptant chacun 62 planches. Objectif Lune fut publié en octobre 1953 et On a marché sur la Lune l’année suivante. Devenue la planche 59 du second épisode, la planche du retour sur Terre n’a, pour sa part (et contrairement à beaucoup d’autres), subi aucune transformation. Suspense garanti — Le souci du scénariste Hergé, à cet ultime moment crucial de son récit, était de prolonger le suspense qu’il avait mis en place. Tombés à court d’oxygène, Tintin et ses compagnons s’avéraient incapables de maintenir le contact radio avec la base durant cette phase particulièrement délicate de leur équipée. C’est évidemment la raison pour laquelle le dessinateur s’est fait un devoir, ici, de ne montrer ni le professeur Tournesol, chef de l’expédition, ni Tintin, ni le capitaine Haddock, ni messieurs Dupond et Dupont, ni même Milou… pas même évanouis ! Le lecteur doit rester jusqu’au bout dans l’incertitude quant à leur hypothétique survie. C’est là une tension insoutenable… qu’Hergé peut se permettre de maintenir, puisqu’on sait que, de toute manière, les héros ne peuvent mourir. Puisqu’il lui faut faire durer son plaisir (de faire peur), et prolonger ainsi celui du lecteur (à qui il ne déplait pas forcément d’avoir peur), Hergé a eu l’idée d’ajouter un suspense au suspense, un drame secondaire au drame principal. En scénariste aguerri, il a imaginé que la voiture de Monsieur Baxter, le directeur de la base, s’engage sur l’aire d’atterrissage de la fusée au moment précis où cette dernière arrivait à la verticale de son point de chute. L’alternance des plans et des points de vue, ainsi que l’attribution par Hergé de surfaces différentes aux cases, ou encore le recours a des focales variées dans les deux dernières, tout cela confère à la page une dimension quasiment cinématographique. Dès qu’il aura tourné la page, le lecteur de l’album retrouvera Baxter et son chauffeur, certes un peu « échauffés » par l’aventure, mais sains et saufs. Pour Tintin et pour les autres, il devra encore attendre un peu. Documentation à double sens — L’aspect proprement documentaire revêt ici une dimension particulière. On n’ira pas jusqu’à prétendre que le paysage montagneux vu du ciel correspond trait pour trait à un site précis du massif des Carpates… ou des Zmyhlpathes. Mais d’autres éléments doivent retenir l’attention : la fusée et les véhicules terrestres. On ne compte plus le nombre de fois où Hergé et son collaborateur Bob De Moor ont eu à représenter la fameuse fusée à damier, sous tous les angles et dans toutes les positions. À chaque fois, ils ont eu à tracer un jeu d’ellipses parfaites, et à les inscrire dans l’une ou l’autre perspective linéaire. Le résultat force cette fois encore l’admiration. Montrée sous quatre angles différents, la voiture de Monsieur Baxter a demandé la même attention. Comme il se doit, il s’agit d’un modèle récent : une Ford Tudor Sedan de 1950 dénichée dans un numéro du Saturday Evening Post, dont les coloristes pousseront la conscience professionnelle jusqu’à reproduire la teinte de la carrosserie. Quant aux véhicules des pompiers, en attente ici mais en action à la page suivante, leur histoire mérite d’être contée également, tant elle fait d’Hergé, toujours soucieux de la crédibilité de ses créations, un modèle de rigueur. Il avait pris contact avec la Régie des Voies aériennes, se disant que pour décrire les installations et le matériel d’intervention en cas d’incendie d’une base spatiale, il convenait de se documenter sur ceux d’un aérodrome. En l’occurrence celui de l’Aérodrome National de Bruxelles. Ayant obtenu toutes les autorisations requises, il y avait envoyé un photographe de ses amis. Par ailleurs, le chef du Service Incendie de la Régie avait pris la peine de lui décrire le déroulement de la « chute » (dans tous les sens du terme) de son histoire, dialogues compris. Hergé n’aura eu qu’à changer quelques termes. Ce sont donc les véhicules d’intervention de l’aéroport national qui apparaissent aux dernières pages de On a marché sur la Lune. Le reportage a semblé si intéressant au directeur du service Exploitation de la Régie qu’il reprendra contact avec Hergé pour obtenir de sa part un jeu d’épreuves susceptible d’enrichir les archives de son service. Et voilà comment Hergé a documenté en retour ceux qui l’avaient documenté !

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-11-19
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HERGÉ

HERGÉ TINTIN Illustration originale réalisée pour l’exposition de bande dessinée du pavillon belge lors de l’Exposition Universelle de Montréal en 1967. Signée. Encre de Chine sur papier 49,2 X 94,3 CM (19,37 X 37,13 IN.) En cette fin d’année 1966, et depuis longtemps déjà, la gloire de Tintin est largement assurée sur le plan international. Hergé, son créateur, peaufine ce qui sera la vingt-deuxième aventure de son petit reporter, Vol 714 pour Sydney, récit dont la publication débutera fin septembre dans le Journal de Tintin, permettant au passage à l’hebdomadaire des jeunes de 7 a 77 ans de fêter dignement ses vingt ans d’existence. Neuf ans après celle de Bruxelles, une Exposition Universelle et Internationale sera présentée à Montréal du 28 avril au 29 octobre 1967. Elle aura pour thème “Terre des Hommes” et pour ambition celle de montrer le Spectacle du Siècle à l’échelle planétaire. La Belgique y aura naturellement son propre pavillon, agencé sous la devise “Rien d’humain n’est étranger au Belge”. Tout un programme ! Le hall d’honneur présentera d’importants chefs-d’œuvre du patrimoine artistique belge. À l’étage, une section mettra en valeur le rôle éminent joué par les Belges dans le monde de l’édition, et plus particulièrement dans celui de la Bande Dessinée. Pour éviter tout problème de traduction, les noms des auteurs tiendront lieu d’intitulé, et leurs personnages se présenteront par phylactères interposés, dans leur langue d’origine. Parmi les projets qui ont été soumis au Commissariat, pour rassembler les principaux héros de la BD belge, à quelque école qu’ils appartiennent, c’est celui des Studios Hergé qui a été retenu. Selon cette présentation en sept panneaux de belle taille, la plupart des personnages qui font le succès des magazines, et dont les albums sont traduits dans différentes langues, seront rassemblés. Ceux d’Hergé seront certes mis à l’honneur en se voyant attribuer le panneau central, mais c’est parfaitement légitime, vu leur notoriété et le rôle de “locomotive” qu’on leur prête. Les autres — ceux de Spirou comme ceux de Tintin — se répartiront les six autres panneaux, en une joyeuse et chatoyante galerie. Tous ces dessins seront reproduits en sérigraphie, en couleur, sur des plaques de verre de deux centimètres d’épaisseur fabriquées dans la région de Charleroi. Ces éléments seront fixés sur les murs du pavillon, la transparence de leur support et leur écartement par rapport à la paroi devant leur conférer un relief saisissant. Placés au centre de cet ensemble, isolés sur un panneau qui aura plus de deux mètres cinquante de hauteur, les héros sélectionnés par Hergé dans la “famille” qu’il a donnée à son personnage vedette, auront donc pour mission de présenter aux visiteurs les principaux héros de la Bande Dessinée belge, au moyen de phylactères (rédigés et en français et en anglais, comme il se doit au Canada). Après avoir mis au point la composition au crayon, en format réduit, et vu la taille imposante à laquelle ses héros seront sérigraphiés, Hergé en a établi la mise au net à l’encre de Chine dans un format propice à l’agrandissement définitif. Une sélection drastique s’est opérée au moment de choisir ceux qui allaient ainsi s’avancer, tout sourire, à la rencontre des visiteurs du pavillon : ni Bianca Castafiore, ni Nestor (pourtant devenus familiers au fil du temps) n’ont trouvé grâce aux yeux de leur auteur. Derrière Tintin et Milou s’avancent un Haddock parfaitement détendu, fumant une bonne pipe, les inséparables Dupond et Dupont, leur melon vissé sur la tête et la canne fixé à l’avant-bras, et le brave Tournesol, tout au fond, tenant son pendule d’une main et son précieux parapluie de l’autre. Avec sa tête ronde et sa houppe caractéristique, avec ses pantalons de golf plus intemporels que franchement démodés, Tintin ouvre la marche en adressant au public un geste amical de la main. Les manches retroussées, il incarne comme toujours le dynamisme juvénile. C’est lui qui prononce les mots d’accueil destinés à présenter ses confrères en BD, qu’Hergé ne considère plus depuis longtemps comme des concurrents. Le nom de Tintin est tracé de façon imposante, agissant comme un signal bien mieux que ne l’aurait fait celui d’Hergé si ce dernier s’était conformé à la consigne appliquée aux autres. Milou gambade à côté de son maître, son traditionnel os fixé à la mâchoire. Légèrement en retrait, le capitaine Haddock, qu’on a connu plus bougon, les suit dans la tenue fatiguée qu’il affectionne. La démarche souple, une main en poche, il ne dit rien mais son sourire éclatant vaut tous les “tonnerre de Brest”. Comme à son habitude, Dupond a le geste sentencieux en s’adressant à Dupont. Quant au professeur Tournesol, si typé dans sa tenue comme on n’en fait plus, il est rarement tombé aussi juste en proférant son célèbre « Pardon ! Un peu plus a l’ouest » : Montréal est incontestablement à l’ouest de son lieu de naissance !

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-05-21
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CLARK GABLE

CLARK GABLE The gold plated brittania statue with the engraved front plaque, ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES FIRST AWARD 1934; between the base and the statue the engraved band CLARK GABLE. Under the base of the statue, the circular engraved plaque ACADEMY FIRST AWARD TO CLARK GABLE FOR HIS PERFORMANCE IN IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT--12 in. high; together with a black and white photograph of Mr. Gable holding his Academy Award the night he received it in Hollywood--10 x 8 in. Although Clark Gable will always be remembered for his portrayal of the dashing blockade runner "Rhett Butler" in Gone With The Wind, it would be for a role he did not want to accept that he would win Hollywood's highest Award. The actor starred as the just-fired reporter who chases runaway heiress Claudette Colbert across the country on a madcap journey. In classic "boy meets girl" style, Frank Capra's directing effort firmly established Columbia Studios as a major Hollywood studio. Considered one of the first screwball comedies of the Thirties, It Happened One Night made an overnight sensation of the thirty three year old Clark Gable, who was loaned out to Columbia from M.G.M. for the project. Louis B. Mayer thought so little of the film that he felt it "punishment" for the actor who had pleaded sick to Mayer before beginning his last film. It would be the only Academy Award that the "King Of Hollywood" would ever receive in his illustrious forty year career. The film is noted for several progressive moments, including the classic "Walls Of Jericho" scene where Gable and Colbert throw a throw a blanket over a rope to separate their motel room as they undress; the actor takes his shirt off to reveal that he is not wearing an undershirt. Reaction to the scene was so strong by the movie going public that sales of men's undergarments allegedly dropped 40.

  • USAUSA
  • 1996-12-15
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Joe dimaggio's 1936 new york yankees rookie home uniform

In 1936, America was held tightly in the grip of the Depression. Babe Ruth had retired. Lou Gehrig still continued his excellence but in a quiet manner, inspiring more genuflection than excitement. Then, that May, the rookie from the Pacific Coast League arrived in New York and provided a transfusion of awe and electricity to the Nation’s favorite game. The bulk of Joe DiMaggio’s legend was created during his first tour in the majors, before his country's call to arms during World War II robbed him of three prime seasons. Heralded beyond any rookie in the game before him, DiMaggio somehow exceeded unsurpassable expectations. Had there been a Rookie of the Year Award in 1936 it would have been Joe's. He hit .323 with 29 HRs and 125 RBI and helped bring a World Series title to New York in his first season. From the moment Joe DiMaggio first put on his pinstripes, he made the Yankees “his” team --- in some ways, they are still his team.   “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” Joe DiMaggio was more than the most complete all-around player of his generation. He was more than the player who set one of the game's most cherished records, hitting safely in 56 consecutive games. Baseball has produced many icons, but it has produced only one Joe DiMaggio. He has proven to be the most enduring symbol of baseball greatness. In the almost half a century from his retirement until his death on March 8, 1999, he retained his image as America's ultimate hero. What American male wouldn't sell his soul to duplicate the exacta that Joltin' Joe accomplished - playing centerfield for the Yankees and marrying the sexiest woman on the planet? "Joe DiMaggio is what you get when you build mystique on top of greatness," said Ron Swoboda, the former Met who played a generation after DiMaggio. Though known to be short tempered in private, DiMaggio refrained from showing such behavior in public. A painfully private person, he always was careful and protective of his image, understanding that it was his legacy. "It is not for DiMaggio's records that we remember him," wrote Ira Berkow of The New York Times. "He is best remembered for the persona of Joe DiMaggio. He remains a symbol of excellence, elegance, power and, to be sure, gentleness." His marriage to Marilyn Monroe was an amazing coupling of American celebrity: The country's most revered athlete hitched to its most adored actress. There was this conversation when she returned to their honeymoon suite in Tokyo after entertaining more than 100,000 servicemen in Korea: "It was so wonderful, Joe," she said. "You never heard such cheering." "Yes I have," he said, quietly. DiMaggio burst on to the major league landscape in 1936, helping the Yankees begin the second chapter in their dynasty. After winning only one pennant and World Series in the previous seven years, behind DiMaggio, the Bombers won four straight world championships. In DiMaggio's thirteen seasons, they won ten pennants and nine World Series. When he retired in 1951, he had a lifetime average of .325, down from the .339 it had been before he served three years in the military during World War II. He won two home-run crowns (1937 and 1948) on his way to 361. (Remarkably, he struck out only 369 times, a ratio of dingers to whiffs that no other long-ball hitter even approaches.) DiMaggio hit over .300 eleven times and won two batting titles - .381 in 1939 and .352 in 1940. He knocked in more than 100 runs nine times, leading the American League with 125 in 1941 and 155 in 1948 and finishing second with 167 in 1937. He won three Most Valuable Player Awards (1939, 1941 and 1947). His fame was recorded in song and prose. In the sixties, when Simon and Garfunkel wanted to express a longing for another time, they wrote in "Mrs. Robinson": "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” "A nation turns its lonely eyes to you." Earlier, Ernest Hemingway had turned to the Yankee Clipper when he sought a symbol. In his novel The Old Man and the Sea, the old man says, "I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing. They say his father was a fisherman. Maybe he was as poor as we are and would understand." He was a fisherman, all right. Joe, the eighth of nine children, was born on Nov. 25, 1914, in Martinez, Calif., a small fishing village 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. The next year, his father moved the family to San Francisco because he heard the fishing was better off its waters. While Zio Pepe, as DiMaggio's father was called, wanted his five sons to become fishermen like him, only the oldest two did. Joe and brothers Vince and Dom became major league baseball players. Joe spent three seasons with the San Francisco Seals, and, in 1933,  as an eighteen-year old rookie, set a Pacific Coast League record by hitting safely in 61 consecutive games. "Baseball didn't really get into my blood until I knocked off that hitting streak," DiMaggio said. "Getting a daily hit became more important to me than eating, drinking or sleeping. Overnight I became a personality." The Yankees bought him for a reported $25,000 and five players after the 1934 season. They kept him in San Francisco for another year, and he tore up the PCL again with a .398 average, 34 homers and 154 RBI. As a rookie with the Yankees, he was on the cover of Time magazine during the 1936 season. Lou Gehrig was the AL MVP, and DiMaggio helped Gehrig by providing an equally powerful weapon, as he hit .323 with 29 homers, 132 runs and 125 RBI. He also led A.L. outfielders with 22 assists. DiMaggio helped the Yankees to totals of 102, 102, 99 and 106 victories his first four seasons plus a 16-3 record in the World Series. In the summer of 1941, a nation turned its eyes to him. During his record hitting streak, which began on May 15 with an inauspicious 1-for-4 game, the Les Brown big band recorded “Joltin' Joe DiMaggio”, a hit that was played day and night on the radio. Finally, on July 17, before a crowd of 67,468 in Cleveland, pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby Jr. kept him hitless, thanks to two outstanding plays by third baseman Ken Keltner and a good one by shortstop Lou Boudreau. He hit .408 (91-of-223) with 15 homers and 55 RBI during the streak. After that game, DiMaggio went on a 16-game hitting streak. DiMaggio, who batted .357 for the season, won the MVP despite Ted Williams hitting .406 with a league-leading 37 homers. He also took the 1947 MVP - by one point - over Williams, though the Splendid Splinter won the Triple Crown. In the late 1940s, DiMaggio showed his Achilles heel, or heels, literally. At times, he said, "it felt as if a nail was stuck into them - only 20 times worse." An operation in November 1948 didn't help much. He wasn't able to play until June 28, but made a legendary return, hitting four homers and knocking in nine runs as the Yankees swept three games in Boston, igniting one of the most thrilling pennant chases ever. DiMaggio hit .346 in 76 games, and the Yankees won the 1949 American League championship on the season's final day by beating the Red Sox. When he hit .373 for the final six weeks of 1950, lifting his average to .301, and drove home 122 runs probably convinced DiMaggio he had one more year left despite his lingering ailments. He didn't - sinking to .263 and 12 homers in his final 1951 season - and tearfully he retired that December. "I stayed one season too long," he said. After his love affair ended with baseball, he began one with Monroe. He was 39, she 27 when they married on Jan. 14, 1954, despite, according to Gay Talese in Esquire, "disharmony in temperament and time: he was tired of publicity, she was thriving on it; he was intolerant of tardiness, she was always late." When the marriage ended in divorce nine months later, it was, as another writer said, "an adult version of learning there is no Santa Claus." But even after their divorce, they remained friends. This enhanced his image. After her death in 1962, it was DiMaggio who supervised her funeral arrangements and had flowers put on her grave three times a week for 20 years. DiMaggio remained in the spotlight as a spokesman for several companies. But he carried himself with grace even when he sold Mr. Coffee machines or appeared in ads for a New York bank. There was no sense he had cheapened himself. At nearly every public appearance he made, DiMaggio was introduced as "the greatest living ballplayer." And now, even after his death, he remains an icon, an American folk hero. – Larry Schwartz (ESPN SportsCentury) 1936 Joe DiMaggio, twenty one years old, tall and slender, slow to smile, yet quietly confident, made his first trip east of the Rocky Mountains, on his way to spring training in 1936. Having conquered the Pacific Coast League, he was leaving behind its modest venues and limited regional dimensions that kept him close to the comforts of home and family. The Yankees made sure their prize package wouldn’t have to travel unattended: they deputized their two veteran Italian stars, Tony Lazzeri and Frank Crosetti, to fetch Joe from his home on Taylor Street, and take him cross-country in Lazzeri’s new Ford. For more than a week, they’d travel on two lane roads that zigzagged from town to town, all the way from San Francisco to St. Petersburg Florida, and a mostly silent Joe gazed out the window for 3,000 miles. For DiMaggio, this was his first look at the vastness of the country he would thrill with his exploits. In a few years, he would be said to represent this land and exemplify its virtues: aspiration, hard work, native grace, and opportunity for all. The anticipation that surrounded Joe’s debut with the Yankees was without precedent. The frenzy, perpetuated amongst fans, team officials, and especially the media, was heightened by an unexpected delay as a result of a foot injury that kept DiMaggio sidelined for the first few weeks of the 1936 season. While the star rookie mended what one New York paper dubbed “The Most Famous Hot-Foot in Yankee History” the Yankee Box office got hundred of letters asking: When would DiMaggio play? The papers covered his medical exams, his every appearance at the ballpark, even satirically speculating on the new layers of skin on his foot. The New York Times ran a lively exchange of letters from readers arguing out the pronunciation of “Dee-Mah-Jee-O”. The Yanks were playing well, but not well enough: after eighteen games, at eleven and seven, they were just where they’d finish the last three years-second place. Finally the papers trumpeted the glad news: the kid would play on Sunday, May 3 against the St. Louis Browns. A crowd of more than twenty –five thousand (by far the largest since opening day) braved cool and showery weather to cheer the debut. “An astonishing portion of the crowd,” said the New York Post, “was composed of strangers to sport-mostly Italians- who did not even know the stadium subway station.” Perhaps it was these fans who rose to their feet along with the rest, whose cheers were heard above all others when young Joe, wearing number 9, made his first plate appearance-with Yankee runners on first and third. Even as Joe grounded a tame “fielder’s choice” to third, the electricity of the moment was sustained. Later, in the sixth, Joe got a hold of a pitch from “Chief” Elon Hogsett and drove it, as the Post remarked, “like a cannon shot between the center and left fielders,” and DiMaggio had his first big-league triple. The game as a whole was never in doubt: the Browns’ pitching was awful; but who cared? The daily news ran DiMaggio headlines three inches high, but in the lead tried to keep matters in perspective: “This is the story of Joseph DiMaggio, a kid from San Francisco, though it might be proper to mention that the Yankees beat St Louis 14-5, at the stadium yesterday.” By late May, Joe was leading the league with a .411 average, and the Yankees were streaking. On the last day of May, they won their fifth straight, to sweep the Red Sox (Whom they now led by four and a half games), when DiMaggio singled in the seventh to tie, and tripled in the twelfth to win the game. Almost forty-two thousand fans (including Mayor Fiorello La Guardia) left Yankee Stadium to tell of the rookie’s glory. Young Joe had to leave the ballpark in a phalanx of cops, to protect him from adoring fans. It was seldom mentioned all year that Gehrig was having a banner season, that Dickey was pounding the ball flat: or that the whole Yankee offense was producing runs at the rate of the mighty ’27 Yanks. The story was painted in bold black and white: The Yanks, resurgent, were racing toward a pennant. And the reason for the resurgence was Joe. DiMaggio and the Yanks were the story everywhere in the country. Writers in every AL town used the coming of the rookie wonder to build attendance for their local clubs. In the month before the All-Star Game, the AP baseball feature named the rookie DiMaggio seven times (Dizzy Dean, with four mentions, ranked a distant second.) Little wonder, in the count of two million ballots from fans in forty-eight states and Canada, Joe led the voting for the 1936 AL All-Star outfield. And in case anyone had missed the story, Time Magazine took the occasion of the All-Star Game to look in on baseball- and on the cover (Where portraits of Presidents and foreign Kings were the staple) there appeared a full length photo of DiMaggio, in his rookie pinstripes. The 1936 Yankees won the pennant by seventeen games, due in large part to Joe’s .323 average, 29 HRs, and 125 RBI. In the 1936 Series matchup with the crosstown Giants, Joe added the exclamation point on his extraordinary rookie campaign, hitting .346 in the six game series, helping secure a World Series title for the Yankees in his first year of service. 1936 was the first of many spectacular seasons for DiMaggio, in a career that would include a litany of immortal feats and eight more World Series rings. But for DiMaggio himself, 1936 would forever remain his darling season in baseball. His fond reflections of 1936 later in his life are well documented. Those who knew him best have recalled that a picture of the 1936 Yankees team was among the few baseball-related photographs that hung in his home. And of all the rings, hardware, and other accoutrements bestowed upon one of baseball’s most highly decorated players, it was his 1936 World Series ring he cherished above all others, worn with pride until it was removed from his finger on the day he died. Charles “Smoke” Mason For every Joe DiMaggio, whose promise is fulfilled, whose glory a nation basks in, there are thousands of Charles Masons. However, unlike most young ball players whose only commonality with the Yankee great was a deeply rooted love of the game, Charles Mason would make a serendipitous connection to DiMaggio that would bind them for most of his life.  Like most children of the Depression, Mason’s beginnings in the Ozarks area of southwest Missouri were humble. His refuge was baseball, and he quickly showed a knack for pitching that made him a standout on the local makeshift diamonds. Mason’s live arm, which earned him the nickname “Smoke”, took him to the University of Missouri, where, after his final season there in 1938, he was approached by Yankees scout Bill Essick. “Would you like to play for the Yankees”, Bill said. Mason, who hardly knew who the Yankees were, said with optimism, “Mr. Essick, I might be pleased to play with the Yankees”. What would later prove to be ironic was the fact that Essick had not only lived on the same street in San Francisco that DiMaggio grew up on, but he had also helped sign the Yankees star only two years prior.  Signed in May of 1938 for $1,300, including $1,200 to pay off school debt and $100 for his pocket, Charles Mason boarded a bus to Joplin, Missouri to play for the Yankees’ Joplin Miners farm team. When he arrived in Joplin, Mason met team manager Joe Becker, who quickly directed him to the clubhouse to be sized up for a uniform to begin working out in. As was customary the equipment manager chose a proper garment for Mason from a mound of used uniforms that had been sent down from New York by the big league club as a cost saving measure. In a decision that took but a moment of thought, with consideration given only to size and shape, Charles Mason was handed what, unbeknownst to him, would someday be looked upon as a national heirloom. Charles worked out in his designated uniform only for a few weeks before the Joplin season began and he donned the official Miners team uniform. He maintained possession of the pinstriped “workout uniform” throughout the 1938 season, keeping it in his locker, with little use for it then and virtually no sense of its significance. It stayed with him through a second season with Joplin in 1939, during which he experienced the one and only encounter of his life with Joe DiMaggio in person. During spring training in Kansas City Florida, DiMaggio, taking a break from preparing for his fourth big league campaign, paid a visit to the aspiring Yankee prospects. Mason, recalls that he was seated in the dugout along with five other players when the Yankee Clipper strolled by, pausing to greet them casually. According to Mason he simply said, “Hello fellas”, but the impact was lasting. The impression left by DiMaggio, whose legend was rooted, but far from fruition at that time, abolished Mason’s obliviousness to the old uniform, which bore this man’s name in red stitching. At seasons end, Charles asked Mr. Becker if he could keep it. Becker said “Well, what the heck are you going to do with it, Charles?” Charles said, “I need a uniform to wear when I go back to Willow Springs. We play a lot of ball down there in the hills.” Years later, Mason would reflect that his being allowed to keep the uniform was not customary; attributing Mr. Becker’s exception to his feeling that he had a good prospect on his hands in “Smoke” Mason.  Upon his return to Willow Springs in 1939, baseball became secondary in Mason’s life. His father took ill, passing away shortly thereafter, and the uniform was relegated to a closet at his parent’s house. The next drastic turn in his life came with World War II when Charles went to serve in Panama. After the war, he met and married Frances Cochran in 1950. The forgotten uniform lay dormant until sometime in the 1950’s when Frances discovered it in the corner of the closet, while helping clean out Charles’ mother’s house. Its fate resting in her hands, she opted to save what another might have deemed disposable.      Number Nine As years passed by, the game of baseball itself would continue to be pushed down the list of priorities in Charles Mason’s life in turn by marriage, children, and an alternate profession. All the while, his most tangible link to his days as a ball player was safely stored in a moth proof bag in his home. As DiMaggio evolved into the mythic figure he is today, Mason’s appreciation for the uniform only deepened. Now, at the age of 89, he has chosen to let the world know of its existence. Manufactured by Spalding, the uniform, consisting of a jersey and pants is one of only two home pinstriped uniforms issued to Joe DiMaggio for the 1936 season (He was also issued two road uniforms, one of which resides in the Hall of Fame). Tagged exclusively for DiMaggio, the uniform features red chain stitching in the collar that reads “Joe DiMaggio 9”, while similar chain stitching in the pants reads, “Joe DiMaggio 9, 36” referencing the player, uniform number, and year of issue. DiMaggio was only assigned the uniform number 9 for his rookie season, after which he would don number 5 for the remainder of his career. It is important to note that in 1936, uniform numbers were issued based on a player’s appearance in the batting order (ie: Gehrig’s number 4 denoting his position in the clean-up spot). For incoming rookies who had not established such a position within the order, numbers were assigned in ascension based on their status as a prospect. DiMaggio was so highly touted that he was issued number 9, the lowest number available to a rookie. Every technical aspect of this uniform is as it was when Joe DiMaggio made his Yankees debut with the exception of the sleeves having been cut and the customary removal of the “NY” logo from the front of the jersey, which was done upon its designation for minor league service. No other lettering was ever applied to the front, and the “NY” outline is still clearly visible on the left breast. The jersey and pants retain superb visual appeal, demonstrating substantial, but not excessive usage wear.  Team repairs appear on the pants and a few rust spots on the uniform have been cleaned. In addition to the jersey’s documented lineage, it is supported by no less than half a dozen “photo matches“. Every Yankee pinstriped flannel garment of this era is as unique as a snowflake because each jersey and pants were hand stitched, so the pinstripe patterns vary from uniform. The alignment of the pinstripes on both the pants and jersey (most readily apparent at the seams of the shoulders, collar, number, and ‘NY’ outline) and pants (waistband, belt loops, inseam) provide exact matches to several photos of DiMaggio from 1936, many of which are presented here. Among the most compelling photo matches is an image catalogued by Corbis as being taken during the 1936 World Series (shown), providing clear evidence that this jersey was worn by Joe during his first appearance in the Fall Classic. Joe DiMaggio’s full 1936 New York Yankees home rookie uniform is one of the most historical pieces of sports memorabilia ever discovered. DiMaggio became an American hero at a time when Americans had little to feel heroic about. He was an idol when America struggled with idealism. Exuding grace and elegance in a game that less than two decades prior had been blemished by a gambling scandal, DiMaggio defined an era of American resurgence, helping to pick up a  beleaguered nation by its boot straps. Years after his retirement, and even to this day, fans marvel not only at his exploits on the diamond, but also at his extraordinary traits as an American. This uniform is the finest symbol of his legacy that has ever surfaced for public sale. $600,000 and up     Provenance: A letter of provenance from the Mason family accompanies the uniform. An additional LOA is provided by MEARS. Also included is a source list and copies of uniform “photo matches”, as well as copies of Mr. Mason’s 1938 and 1939 Joplin team photographs.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-12-10
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GEORGE HARRISON BEATLES OWNED AND PLAYED GUITAR

GEORGE HARRISON BEATLES OWNED AND PLAYED GUITAR 1966 - 1969 A 1964 Gibson SG Standard guitar, Serial No. 227666, translucent cherry finish, double cutaway solid body, Schaller machine heads, 22 fret fingerboard with mother-of-pearl inlays, Gibson logo inlayed to head, duel humbucker pickups, four rotary controls, selector switch, Gibson/Maestro Varitone wrap around tail piece and whammy bar, together with original hardshell case and six original Kluson tuners. Played by George Harrison from 1966 through 1969 during various Beatles appearances and recording sessions which include the last official United Kingdom concert at the NME Poll Winners Concert and during the Revolver recording session. It was also used by Harrison in two Beatles films used to promote "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" in 1966 and later played by John Lennon during the White Album sessions in 1969. Also present is a thirty-nine page custom binder which includes excellent documentation, featuring several reproduction images of Harrison playing the guitar with The Beatles as well as documentation from the book Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments, from Stage to Studio (Andy Babiuk) and two letters verifying the guitar's authenticity. Together with additional related documents of the guitars subsequent owner, Pete Ham of Badfinger, to whom Harrison bestowed the guitar to in 1969. In 2002, the guitar was loaned to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio where it has been on display ever since.

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-12-17
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JOHN LENNON HANDWRITTEN LYRICS TO BEATLES' SONG 'NOWHERE MAN'

JOHN LENNON HANDWRITTEN LYRICS TO BEATLES' SONG 'NOWHERE MAN' 1965 A piece of paper with John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to the Beatles' song 'Nowhere Man.' Penned in black ballpoint ink, the manuscript reads in full: 1) He's a real Nowhere Man Sitting in his nowhere land Making all his nowhere plans for nobody Nowhere Man please listen You don't know what your [sic] missing Nowhere Man the world is at your command 2) Doesn't have a point of view Knows not where he's going to Isn't he a bit like you and me Nowhere Man don't worry Take your time don't hurry Leave it all till [sic] somebody else lends you a hand 3) He's as blind as he can be Just sees what he wants to see Nowhere Man can you see me at all? This is not a work-in-progress set of lyrics, rather it is the finished song that Lennon neatly wrote out and then used during the recording session at Abbey Road Studios in October 1965. 'Nowhere Man' is considered by many to be one of Lennon's most important songs lyrically as it represents a turning point in the evolution of The Beatles. It was their first song not directly dealing with romantic love and it opened the doors for the Beatles (as well as numerous other groups) to address more serious and poignant issues in pop songs. It is no surprise that Lennon composed this song alone; the subject matter of alienation and sadness is typical of many of his compositions. When asked about the song, he said it was about himself and that he was the 'Nowhere Man.' Although John Lennon seems like the antithesis of a 'Nowhere Man' now, knowing that he sometimes felt like this just adds another dimension to his already complex legend. 10 x 7 inches Please note the paper has been folded three times, has tea stains in the lower left-hand corner and has slight staining throughout, though the handwriting is not affected.

  • USAUSA
  • 2003-11-18
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HERGE LE CRABE AUX PINCES D’OR Encre de Chine et mine de plomb pour

HERGE LE CRABE AUX PINCES D'OR Encre de Chine et mine de plomb pour la couverture de l'album ' Le Crabe aux Pinces d'Or ', publiée aux éditions Casterman en 1942 en version dite ' Grande Image ' et en 1943 pour l'album couleurs. L'album est encore édité de nos jours avec cette couverture. Pièce de musée. Format : 42 x 31 cm. Encadrée. Le Crabe aux Pinces d'Or est à plus d'un titre un album charnière dans l'œuvre d'Hergé. Tout d'abord, cet album voit l'apparition du Capitaine Haddock ; d'abord relégué à un rôle mineur, il s'affirmera comme le compagnon d'aventures le plus fidèle de Tintin et Milou. Seules 6 couvertures d'albums représentent ces 3 personnages de face. Les autres couvertures sont soit axées sur Tintin et Milou seuls ou représentent nos héros de dos, au mieux de profil. Le Crabe aux Pinces d'Or est par ailleurs le premier album à être réalisé dans un contexte de guerre et d'occupation, celui de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale et de l'occupation allemande. L'occupation de la Belgique contraint Hergé à abandonner les aventures de ' Tintin au pays de l'or noir '. La fin du journal ' Le Vingtième Siècle ' et de son supplément amène Hergé à rejoindre le journal d'occupation ' Le Soir-Jeunesse ' dans lequel il publiera à partir du 17 octobre 1940 ' Le Crabe aux pinces d'or '. Tout d'abord à raison d'une double page par semaine puis une demi-feuille pour finir par un strip quotidien de 4 cm sur 17 dans le Journal ' Le Soir ' à partir du 3 septembre 1941. Cette contrainte amènera Hergé à développer une nouvelle technique narrative afin d'entretenir un suspens à la fin de chaque strip et non à la fin de chaque double page comme c'était le cas pour les albums précédents. De par cette contrainte, cet album s'avère être l'un des plus denses, des plus riches, des plus efficaces et des plus rythmés. Le journal Le Soir publiant à 300 000 exemplaires, la visiblité des aventures de Tintin s'en trouve accrue. C'est à partir de la sortie de cet album que les ventes commenceront à décoller. Le succès éditorial ne se démentira pas par la suite. Cet album sera par ailleurs le dernier à paraître en noir et blanc. Estimation 350 000 - 400 000 € Sold for 372,028 €

  • FRAFrance
  • 2009-03-14
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THE MALTESE FALCON, 1941

THE MALTESE FALCON, 1941 The bronze patina lead statue in the image of a falcon; The serial number WB90066 engraved twice on the underside and on the back of the tailfeathers. The statue weighs forty five pounds; slashes to the left of the head and shoulder -11 1/2 in. high. The detective classic with it's moody images and sinister atmosphere, starred Humphrey Bogart as ace-sleuth Sam Spade. Co-starring with Mr. Bogart were Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor and Peter Lorre. Debuting director John Huston set the standard of American film noir with this breakthrough style drama. In the film the Falcon, believed to be filled with precious jewels, is slashed on the shoulder by Sydney Greenstreet after an international chase. The Falcon received as much attention off-screen as it did on. During the filming Robert Taplinger of Warner Bros. Studio Publicity department released the following: In a freak accident which injured Humphrey Bogart yesterday, the actor saved Lee Patrick's toes at the expense of his own...The relatively small but disproportionately heavy prop slipped from the actress' hands just as Bogart reached for it. He thrust Ms. Patrick back and tried to jump back himself, but was not quick enough to save the tips of the toes on his left foot...He was able to continue work without a perceptible limp, and to kid Miss Patrick with the crack: "This is what I get for saving you when you tried to give me the bird." Renowned actor, producer and director William Conrad, a close friend of studio chief Jack Warner, received the Falcon during his tenure on the Warner Bros. lot in the 1960s. The bird has rested on a bookshelf in Mr. Conrad's West Coast home ever since. While it is common practice to create several duplicate props that are key to a film, it appears that only two lead birds were ever made. Only one other authentic lead Falcon has ever been known to exist, in the collection of Dr. Gary Milan; it has been exhibited by Warner Bros. in 1992 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the studio's restrospective anniversary exhibit at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Exhibition: The Falcon from The Estate of William Conrad has been on exhibition at Disney-M.G.M. Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida; September 13 - November 13, 1994.

  • USAUSA
  • 1994-12-06
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Circa 1919-22 walter johnson washington senators road jersey

Walter Johnson: “The Big Train” Hailing from tiny Weiser, Idaho, 19 year old Walter Johnson was signed by the lackluster Washington Senators to shore up their pitching woes. The Senators needed a shot in the arm. After all, the American League team had losing records in each year since they joined the league in 1902. Initial expectations of the young man some called a country boy was mixed. On the one hand, team officials were overjoyed when they received news that Walter had pitched 75 scoreless innings in the Idaho State League without giving up a single run. On the other hand, one of their more cynical scouts thought that trying to tame the pitchers fast ball in the big leagues was like going on “a wild goose chase”. However, fate blessed not only the Capital City but anyone who loved the game of baseball when Walter came to the District of Columbia to hone his skill on the mound in 1907. Sure he spent each of his magnificent seasons with only one team, the Washington Senators, but he, in a sense, belonged to all. He became, simply, the number one baseball pitching star in a galaxy of stars with names revered a century later, names like Cy Young, Grover “Old Pete” Alexander and Christy Mathewson. By the time “The Big Train” finished his spectacular playing career, he had notched 416 victories backed by a generally weak hitting team with 110 of them by shutout, struck out over 3,500 batters and led his team to a Worlds Championship. The modest gentleman became an idol to millions nationwide. Walter Johnson, the greatest right handed pitcher of them all, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936, among the first class of men selected for baseball’s greatest honor. “Swat” In late 1922 Eric “Swat” Erickson retired to his farm in the small town of Jamestown, New York after concluding a solid seven-year career in Major League Baseball.  The crafty right-handed pitcher appeared in 145 games in the “bigs” winning 40 and losing 50 as a member of the New York Giants, Detroit Tigers and Washington Senators. When Erickson stepped out of the baseball limelight and settled back into the “country life” of farming and raising his family, he brought home to Jamestown memories and stories of having played with and against some of the greatest baseball players of the first quarter century. Among those recollections recorded in an interview by his hometown newspaper, in the 1970’s Erickson stated unequivocally ”Ruth was the greatest slugger of them all, don’t ever let anyone tell you any different, but Walter Johnson was the greatest pitcher.” Few could offer such an appraisal with better perspective. From 1919-1922 Eric Erickson and Walter Johnson had the privilege of each other’s company as friends and teammates with the Washington Senators. Erickson a solid contributor in his own right to the Senators pitching staff, witnessed Johnson at the height of his greatness from a vantage unlike any other. Their time together with the Senators coincided with the twilight of Johnson’s reign as the games dominant hurler. In Johnson, Erickson bore witness to a living legend. The impression was lasting.  In addition to the memories from which countless tales would be spun, Erickson carried home with him to Jamestown in 1922 other career mementos, which he tucked away in the farmhouse he had built himself by hand. The modest accumulation included typical objects such as photographs, programs, articles, pins and ticket stubs. One other item made its way back to the farm from Washington – an item that today stands as one of the games greatest treasures. For Erickson, in spite of having worn many different jerseys throughout his professional baseball career, carried home with him a single jersey, and it was not his own. “A Washington Monument” After more than 80 years of preservation by Eric “Swat” Erickson and his heirs, we are privileged to present the only known game worn Walter Johnson jersey in private hands. Manufactured by Spalding, the grey pinstriped road jersey is constructed of thick flannel. Underneath the manufacturers tag in the collar in Johnson’s last name in finely scripted red stitching. A heavily embroidered “W” adorns each of the three-quarter length sleeves in black. The present state appears to have changed little since it was last worn by Walter. Every aspect of the jersey is unchanged, including all six original buttons. Its condition is superb, with substantial, but not excessive wear that gives it ideal display quality. Outside of the only other known Walter Johnson jersey that resides in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, this is the finest object ever discovered related to “The Big Train” and it is a national monument to baseball greatness. Articles of provenance include: A notarized letter of provenance form Eric Erickson’s granddaughter. Copies of original newspaper articles related to Erickson and Johnson. Copies of photographs of Erickson and Johnson, including two of them together (shown). A comprehensive LOA from Dave Grob, Dave Bushing and Troy Kinunen of MEARS (Grade A10).

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-06-24
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HERGÉ

HERGÉ TINTIN COKE EN STOCK (T.19), CASTERMAN 1958 Planche originale n°26, prépubliée dans Le Journal de Tintin belge n°17 d’avril 1957. Encre de Chine sur papier 33,5 X 49,5 CM (13,19 X 19,49 IN.) Il s’agit de la planche 26 de l’album Coke en stock, la dix-neuvième en date des Aventures de Tintin, dont l’album est paru en 1958. Il s’agit aussi d’une des 4 planches, sur les 62 que compte l’épisode, qui ne fait pas partie du patrimoine du Musée Hergé de Louvain-la-Neuve. Ce récit a été imaginé par Hergé au début de l’année 1956, alors que se termine la prépublication de L’Affaire Tournesol dans l’hebdomadaire Tintin. Il l’a découpé et esquissé à son rythme au cours des années 1956 et 1957, sans avoir recours à ses collaborateurs. La planche 26, ici présentée, a été réalisée au cours du premier trimestre 1957, et fut prépubliée dans l’hebdomadaire Tintin le 24 avril 1957. Non seulement elle permet au capitaine Haddock d’exprimer, auprès de Tintin et en compagnie de Milou, toute l’étendue de ses potentialités expressives, mais elle consacre un rapprochement aussi caché qu’inattendu entre Georges Remi dit Hergé et son frère cadet Paul, cavalier émérite. Alors que Le Journal de Tintin n’en était pas encore à la moitié de la prépublication de L’Affaire Tournesol, la lecture d’un article intitulé « Il y a encore des marchands d’esclaves », publié le 25 juin 1955 dans Paris-Match, avait retenu l’attention d’Hergé. Son auteur, Georges de Caunes, y rapportait le témoignage d’un Noir originaire de Bamako, musulman, qui était passé du statut de serviteur à celui d’esclave, avant d’être revendu comme tel à La Mecque, et avait réussi à s’évader après dix ans de servitude. L’idée de confronter Tintin à un trafic d’esclaves avait depuis lors cheminé dans l’esprit du dessinateur. Durant les premières semaines de l’année 1956, Hergé couche sur papier le premier synopsis d’une nouvelle histoire, qu’il intitule d’emblée Coke en stock. Cherchant à rejoindre l’émir Ben Kalish Ezab, qui se cache dans les montagnes, Tintin et Haddock ont trouvé refuge à Wadesdah, chez cette vieille connaissance d’Oliveira da Figueira. Leur tête étant mise à prix, ils se sont déguisés en femmes arabes pour échapper aux soldats de Bab El Ehr. Une autochtone vient fortuitement de mettre au jour leur stratagème, et court donner l’alerte. Conservés en archives, les premiers brouillons d’Hergé montraient les fugitifs rejoindre le guide qui les attendait, et monter à cheval. Une case présentait le capitaine, hébété, agrippé au cou de sa monture, et répondant à Tintin qui s’inquiétait de sa tenue en selle : « J’ai toujours beaucoup… aimé… le cheval… » Ce n’était qu’une première approche. En compulsant sa documentation, le dessinateur remet la main sur une vieille lettre de son frère Paul, émaillée de croquis de sa main. Il l’avait reçue (et soigneusement classée à toutes fins utiles) en 1937, lorsqu’il avait interrogé son cadet, expert dans ce domaine, quant à l’attitude de galop qu’il conviendrait de donner à Tintin et à sa monture sur la nouvelle couverture de l’album Tintin en Amérique. Quelque vingt ans plus tard, c’est cette missive qui donne à Hergé l’idée de détailler en une succession de poses burlesques (et muettes) les “exploits” équestres d’un Haddock en froid avec ses étriers. Un capitaine qu’on avait déjà vu se faire désarçonner au début des 7 Boules de cristal. Mais cette fois encore, comme en 1937, il a respecté la consigne de son cadet : lorsqu’elle est mise au galop de charge, la monture pointe les oreilles en arrière. L’apparition inopinée sur cette planche (case 11) du docteur Müller, ennemi juré de Tintin (comme l’est Rastapopoulos), alors qu’il n’intervenait pas du tout sur les brouillons, permet assurément de dater la confection de cette partie du récit. Même mieux que ne pourrait le faire un recours au Carbone 14 ! En effet, ce « Mull Pacha », prestement mis au service du sheik Bab El Ehr, n’a pu surgir ici que parce que la presse de mars 1956 a fait écho à la destitution par le jeune roi Hussein de Jordanie de l’officier britannique John Bagot Glubb, dit Glubb Pacha, qui commandait depuis 1939 la fameuse Légion arabe. Müller n’interviendra qu’au cours de cette courte séquence, mais Hergé n’en sera pas pris pour autant en flagrant délit d’incohérence : la presse internationale exposée à la fin du récit le dépeindra bel et bien comme l’organisateur de la révolution survenue au Khemed pour renverser l’émir Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab. Quant aux « autos-mitrailleuses » (en fait, des engins blindés Daimler 676 de l’armée française) que ledit Mull Pacha lance à la poursuite des fugitifs, elles n’ont pu intervenir à la case 12 de cette planche, et se voir pulvérisées dès la suivante, que grâce à l’observation scrupuleuse par les collaborateurs d’Hergé d’un modèle réduit Dinky Toys acquis par les Studios Hergé en même temps que deux maquettes à monter Revell, dont celle du chasseur bombardier De Havilland Mosquito MK IV requise pour détailler (notamment) les cases 13 et 14 de cette planche. Avec les décors sans doute confiés eux aussi à ses collaborateurs, ces cases purement techniques nous révèlent à quel point leur part de travail coexiste harmonieusement avec la « patte » d’Hergé. Car ce dernier est l’auteur incontestable des personnages et des chevaux ici présentés, et l’opérateur exclusif du tracé, de la mise en place à la mise au net à l’encre de Chine.

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-05-21
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"Shoeless" Joe Jackson 1917-21 Signature Model "Black Betsy" Game Bat - Only Known Career Contemporary Example

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson 1917-21 Signature Model "Black Betsy" Game Bat - Only Known Career Contemporary Example, "Shoeless Joe" His name forever will be associated with the messiest episode in baseball history. His lifetime ban and exclusion from Hall of Fame consideration are viewed by many as a travesty of justice. But there's one thing nobody can take away from Shoeless Joe Jackson: his reputation as the greatest natural hitter in the game's long history. Ty Cobb thought he was. An impressed Babe Ruth copied his batting style. Other contemporaries, such as Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie and Eddie Collins, marveled at the slashing line drives that whipped off his oversized bat that he affectionately dubbed "Black Betsy". During the 13 years (1908-20) he starred for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox, the lefthanded-hitting, righthanded-throwing left fielder never met a pitcher he couldn't hit. Jackson stood well back in the box, feet close together, and unleashed his big, even swing—unlike the short, punching jabs of other top dead-ball hitters. The only thing missing from the 6-1, 200-pounder's offensive arsenal was the great speed that gave Cobb the additional hits he needed to win 12 batting championships. Jackson, who topped the 200-hit plateau four times, batted .408 for the Indians in 1911—losing the batting title to Cobb's .420— and .395 the following year en route to a whopping .356 career mark, third all-time behind Cobb and Rogers Hornsby. Jackson, who earned his nickname as a minor leaguer when he played a game in his stocking feet because of a blister, helped the White Sox to a championship in 1917. But his exact role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal will never be known. There's no doubt the illiterate country kid from the Carolina hill country, perhaps caught up unwittingly in something he did not fully understand, enjoyed an outstanding World Series against Cincinnati (.375, a record 12 hits, no errors) while teammates were helping the Reds to victory. One of eight White Sox players banned for life by then-commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Jackson never played another big-league game—a punishment, right or wrong, that continued long after his 1951 death. "Betsy" After his expulsion from the majors, Jackson fell from grace in the eyes of some, but had become a folk hero to many. His nickname "Shoeless Joe", his infamy, and even the identity of his famous bat "Black Betsy" contributed to that folklore. Of the latter, no other player in sports history ever had a piece of equipment with its own identity of the magnitude of Joe Jackson's bat. The Joe Jackson professional model bat presented here is one of two known bats, and the only full name signature model, manufactured by Louisville Slugger Inc., that can be attributed to being used by Joe Jackson during his active Major League career. The other bat, a factory side written and vault marked J13 model (with Jackson's last name stamped in block letters on the barrel), was returned by Jackson to then J.F. Hillerich & Son Company, in June of 1911, so that more bats of the same model could be made. The specifications of this bat, including its 35.5 inch length and 39.2 ounces weight, are nearly identical to the referenced J13 model that is noted in factory records. This bats 1917-1921 labeling period coincides not only with some of Joe Jackson's most prolific offensive seasons, but also with the White Sox Championship season of 1917 and of course, the infamous 1919 campaign. The bat shows evidence of outstanding use with a substantial handle crack. Many ball marks are visible on the right, left and back barrel. Also visible on the bat are cleat marks and some fading to the finish on the front barrel. Judging by the appearance of the wood, some drying or grain swelling on a section of the barrel could have been reduced by buffing or rubbing with an improvement to the finish having been made in that area. The handle has been scored to enhance the grip. The bat has Jackson's familiar dark barrel and natural handle, which has been characterized as his "Black Betsy" finish. The discovery of this bat is believed to trace back to a large find made at the Louisville Slugger Kentucky headquarters in the mid 1980's. It was first sold publicly by Leland's as part of The Goldstein Collection in 1994, where it was purchased by Bill Nowlin. We are privileged to offer it here as one of the most historically significant game used baseball bats in existence. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA (Graded GU7).

  • USAUSA
  • 2008-04-24
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Joe jackson's “black betsy” game used bat from jackson estate

“Shoeless Joe Jackson” Joseph Jefferson Jackson was the eldest of George and Martha Jackson's eight children. As a child Joe worked alongside his father in a textile mill in Brandon Mill, S.C. devoting little time to school. Outside of the mill his interests centered on the game of baseball, and by 13 Joe was starring on the mill's baseball team. Of the formal education he’d all but dismissed, Joe would later say, “I ain't afraid to tell the world that it don't take school stuff to help a fella play ball." Jackson began playing semipro ball at age 18 and quickly advanced to the minors. It was here that he earned his nickname "Shoeless Joe," after playing a game in his stockings because a new pair of spikes had given him blisters on his feet the previous day. Jackson plied his trade as a minor leaguer, (playing occasionally in the big leagues from 1908-1910) developing a swing so pure that Babe Ruth would later admit to copying it. For a man of average size, Jackson showed profound strength, wielding a bat of unusual size, that he affectionately dubbed “Black Betsy”. His unlimited gifts for the game included an arm that could throw a runner out at home plate from 400 feet, and a glove that was called “the place where triples go to die.” In 1911, his first full season in the majors, Jackson batted a remarkable .408 for the Cleveland Indians, setting a rookie record that still stands. In 1915, Jackson was traded to the Chicago White Sox for two undistinguished players and $31,500 to help the financially foundering Cleveland franchise. The trade paid off for owner Charles Comiskey as Jackson went on to help the White Sox to a six-game victory over the New York Giants in the 1917 World Series. At the height of his career, Jackson was an indomitable force at the plate, poised to leave a legacy as one of the game’s all-time greats. Banishment The illiterate mill worker’s son from the hills of South Carolina, gave every shred of himself to the game of baseball and became one the sport’s most celebrated stars. In spite of this, the legacy of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson remains a sad one, tainted by association with the infamous "Black Sox Scandal" of the 1919 World Series. In response to suspicions that the White Sox had thrown the series under the influence of sports bookies, baseball commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned Joe Jackson and seven of his teammates for life, sending a no-tolerance message regarding the presence of gambling in baseball. Of all the players, Jackson's involvement in the conspiracy seemed the least plausible, as his on-field stats were sparkling -- a .375 batting average and a perfect fielding percentage during the series. A jury later acquitted Jackson of the charges, and despite holding the third highest lifetime batting average in baseball history at .356, the legendary outfielder remains permanently barred from induction to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He could run, hit, and throw the best of them in both leagues, but he lacked judgment, education, and common sense. Being unable to read and write put this Southerner at a distinct disadvantage. Totally out of place in the big city, Joe probably did accept the promise of $5,000 to fix the games. If he chose to ignore the promises, his .375 World Series batting average was not enough to exonerate him. It was a pure tragedy of baseball and the American way of life.   Joe Jackson's “Black Betsy” Game Used Bat From Jackson Estate   “Black Betsy” After his expulsion from the majors, Joe and wife Katherine settled in Savannah, Georgia, where he opened a successful dry cleaning operation and continued to wield his “Black Betsy” for semipro and industrial league teams in the area. The game was ingrained in his heart and soul and, in 1929, the Jacksons moved to Greenville, SC, where Joe would don the uniform of the local nine, the Greenville Spinners. Jackson had fallen from grace in the eyes of some, but had become a folk hero to many. His nickname “Shoeless Joe”, his infamy, and even the identity of his famous bat “Black Betsy” contributed to that folklore. Of the latter, no other player in sports history ever had a piece of equipment with its own identity of the magnitude of Joe Jackson’s bat. It was during Joe’s time with the Greenville Spinners in the early 1930’s, that the story was recorded of this historic “Black Betsy” bat. Joe Thompson, who would later author the book “Growing Up With Shoeless Joe - The Greatest Natural Player in Baseball History” was the Sports Editor of the Greenville News-Piedmont newspaper at that time and conducted several personal interviews with Jackson concerning his life in baseball. One such interview resulted in an August 1, 1932 column bearing the headline “Famed Chisox Slugger Here; In Good Shape – Recalls Early Playing Days in Greenville; Tells True Story of How He Got ‘Black Betsy’. The article included the following excerpts; “Shoeless Joe" Jackson - one of the greatest sluggers of them all, the man who taught Babe Ruth how to hit - strode the streets of the old home town again today and recalled his early playing days here with Brandon Mill and the Greenville Spinners. Joe will don his baseball harness again Wednesday to give the home folks an eyeful of the modern Joe Jackson. He will play in his old position, center field, for the Greenville Spinners here Wednesday afternoon. Joe has his famous bat "Black Betsy" with him, and he will use the bludgeon in the game Wednesday. The bat is 24 years old, and has never been broken. It was with this bat that Jackson made all his hitting records, one of them, a World Series record, still standing and tied only by Pepper Martin in the last series. Jackson recalled today how he first showed Babe Ruth how to stand properly at the plate to hit. The Babe borrowed Joe's Black Betsy on several occasions, and loaned Jackson one of his bludgeons. Babe was with the Boston Red Sox at the time. For our own special benefit, Joe explained just how he secured "Black Betsy." There had been so many conflicting stories of the famous bat, that we were naturally curious to know the true story. ‘The bat was given to me by old Cap'n Martin, who drove one of the first street cars in Greenville,’ Joe said. ‘The bat was whittled out of hickory, but I don't know just where the Cap'n got hold of it. I sent it to the Spaulding baseball company and they finished it for me and stamped their label on it. I've had it ever since and it's never been broke, although it's getting old now and I expect it any time. I used to keep it soaked in a barrel of oil, but lately it's just been thrown by my desk in Savannah." He will don a Greenville uniform Wednesday for the first time in 20 years. He broke into baseball here in 1908. Other publicly documented references to “Black Betsy” include a September 23, 1951 article in the New Orleans Times Picayune that documents the bat’s distinctive feature of having a slight curvature. Soon after Joe’s banishment, he played in Bastrop, LA (1922) and in Americus, GA (1923). The article recounts the great teams in Bastrop during 1922 and 1923, mentioning Joe’s days with them in 1922 and describing “Betsey” in the article; “’The bat was incidentally something else’, Says Montgomery (teammate): ‘In that old leather case Joe carried two bats, one of which- his favorite –was a home-made affair slightly sprung with a curve in it. He wouldn’t let anybody touch it. He sure made it talk. I remember once I ordered two new Louisville Sluggers. We were practicing when they arrived and I handed one to Joe to try. He hit a couple balls with it and silently added it to his leather case, I never saw it again’” Two photographs that were taken of Jackson in 1932 show him in uniform with the Greenville Spinners holding “Black Betsy”.  In both, the bat’s immediately identifiable characteristics, including its curvature and distinctive handle tape provide an exact photo match. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and his wife Katie would reside in Greenville, S.C. until Joe’s death on December 5th, 1951. At that time “Black Betsy” and the rest of Joe’s property were bequeathed to his widow. Upon her passing in 1959, Katie Jackson willed the bat to her 13 year-old cousin Lester Erwin who would be its keeper for 42 years. In a notarized letter drafted and signed by Erwin in 2001, he states in part;     “Mr. Jack Abbot, the Executor of the estate of Katie Jackson, delivered the bat to my house shortly after Katie’s death in 1959. I was 13 years old at the time. This bat was in the home of Joe Jackson until his death and it was his favorite bat. My cousin Katie would tell the family, including myself as a small boy, that Joe kept this bat because it was special to him and he referred to it as “Black Betsy”. Joe instructed Katie to leave it to me upon her death and it has been in my family, either at my Dad’s house as I was growing up, or at my house for the last 42 years. This has been enjoyed by my friends and family in remembrance of my cousin’s husband Joe Jackson, the greatest ball player of all time.” Lester Erwin sold “Black Betsy” at public auction in 2001, where it was bought by a private collector for a then record price of $577,610. It has been consigned to this auction on behalf of its current owner. To this day Joe Jackson remains one of baseball’s most mythical figures. Baseball historians remember him as one of the games most gifted performers, and growing legions of forgiving fans campaign relentlessly and fruitlessly to have him officially recognized as such in Cooperstown. Estimate Upon Request   Articles of Provenance Included: A copy of the Greenville Piedmont article from Aug. 1, 1932 as well as a notarized document from The Greenville County Library acknowledging its source. Copies of two circa.1932 photos of Jackson holding the bat with the Greenville Spinners. A notarized letter from Jack Abbot, executor of Katie Jackson’s estate. A notarized letter of provenance from Lester Erwin. A copy of Katie Jackson’s will, specifically referencing the bat.  A copy of the September 23, 1951 New Orleans Times Picayune article. Two separate letters of authenticity from independent bat authenticators MEARS (Troy Kinunen and Dave Bushing, Grade A 9.5) and PSA/DNA.   Bat Specifications: manufacturer: Unknown, and was sent to the Spalding Sporting Goods Co. for finishing, wherein said company stamped their logo on the knob and “Old Hickory” label on the barrel. bat weight: Approximately 40 ozs. bat length: Approximately 34.5 in. wood: Hickory finish: Slightly darkened on the barrel as a result of oil soaking, hence the “Black” in “Black Betsy”    cracks/repairs/features: Slight handle crack, repaired by Jackson with tape. Jackson was known to continue using the bat after it was cracked, however its most significant feature is that it is curved. The curve has been referred to by Jackson’s contemporaries as having been “slightly sprung with a curve or crook”. The curve is believed to have been caused by the “seasoning” of the wood, which was originally made from “unseasoned” hickory.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-12-10
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Hergé

HERGÉ TINTIN TINTIN ET LE THERMO-ZERO 1960 Crayonné originale de la planche n° 4 issue de l’histoire inachevée. Signée Mine de plomb sur papier 36,5 × 50 cm (14,37 × 19,69 in.) Une pièce d’exception — On connaît cet épisode, devenu mythique, sous le nom de Tintin et le Thermo-Zéro. Pourquoi mythique ? Parce que, de tous les projets d’aventures de Tintin auxquels Hergé a renoncé, c’est incontestablement celui qui avait été poussé le plus loin. Des centaines de feuillets de découpage destinés, au gré d’approches successives, à fixer le contenu des 62 pages du récit, des versions distinctes du scénario élaborées par Hergé avant d’être confiées aux talents de scénariste prêtés à son collaborateur Jacques Martin, et… au bout du compte tout le début de l’histoire, mis en place au gré de crayonnés somptueux. Du Hergé à l’état pur ! Et du Hergé au meilleur de sa forme ! La légende battue en brèche — Il y aurait sans doute un livre à écrire au sujet de Tintin et le Thermo-Zéro. Disons-le tout net : cet épisode doit tout à Hergé, et presque rien à Greg, ni sur le plan scénaristique, ni sur les contenus, et surtout pas pour ce qui concerne la scène d’ouverture crayonnée par Hergé. La seule chose que le papa d’Achille Talon a faite dans cette histoire, c’est, à la demande d’Hergé en 1960, lui ficeler un nouveau synopsis sur base des contenus élaborés depuis 1957 par Hergé (et dans une moindre mesure par ses collaborateurs), synopsis qui était supposé lui donner l’envie de reprendre en main le projet. Raté ! Hergé l’a raconté à Benoît Peeters quelques semaines avant sa disparition : « Ça n’a pas marché parce que je suis un fantaisiste et que je ne parviens pas à suivre un scénario qu’on m’a proposé. (…) À un certain moment, je suis coincé par l’option prise par le scénariste (…) alors je fais un petit crochet vers la gauche ou vers la droite, et petit à petit tout le scénario se disloque ». Il le précise plus loin : il n’a jamais utilisé le scénario de Greg parce que, dans ce contexte, il se sentait prisonnier d’un carcan. J’ai besoin d’être surpris par mes propres inventions, affirmait-il. Les lecteurs de l’ouvrage Le Monde d’Hergé en ont conclu — avec son auteur — que tout, absolument tout ce qui compose les archives relatives à cet épisode était issu du synopsis de Greg, alors que c’est exactement le contraire. Les découvertes de Philippe Goddin publiées dans les volumes 6 et 7 de la collection Hergé – Chronologie d’une Œuvre l’ont bien montré : Hergé a entrepris d’élaborer ce récit en fin d’année 1957, sous le titre La Boîte de Pandor, juste après avoir terminé Coke en stock ; il l’a ensuite abandonné pour réaliser Tintin au Tibet ; il y est revenu une fois cet épisode terminé, à l’automne 1959, reprenant l’ensemble du récit sous formes de découpages et s’appuyant sur le savoir-faire de Jacques Martin pour nourrir le périple accompli par les héros qu’il avait lui-même imaginé ; il a même dessiné avec précision tout le début du récit, sous forme de crayonnés de grand format, tandis qu’il sollicitait Greg, début 1960, pour remettre cette matière à sa sauce. Greg a certes imaginé le « Thermo-Zéro » susceptible de remplacer les pilules radioactives comme enjeu de la course-poursuite. Il a donc, de façon erronée, voire imméritée, laissé « son » titre à cette oeuvre de Hergé, mais malgré quelques mois supplémentaires consacrés à de nouvelles tentatives, ce dernier n’a rien fait de son scénario… qui s’ouvrait par une balade touristique quelque peu incongrue des héros sur les flancs du Vésuve. Ce texte de 16 pages dactylographiées a été publié par Les Amis de Hergé dans le numéro 36 de leur excellente revue. Un début sur les chapeaux de roues — D’emblée, en 1957, Hergé avait ouvert son récit par un spectaculaire dépassement de voiture, opéré près de Moulinsart et vécu comme un affront par le capitaine Haddock au volant de sa décapotable. Pour en arriver dès la deuxième page au violent accident subi par le mystérieux conducteur, qu’on devine poursuivi par d’étranges personnages à l’accent allemand. Le fugitif, grièvement blessé, transportait des pilules radioactives… qu’il glissera subrepticement dans la poche de l’imperméable de Tintin venu lui porter secours. D’où le titre qui remplacera un moment La Boîte de Pandore (avec « e » cette fois) : Les Pilules (ou, plus vraisemblablement Tintin et les Pilules). En dépit de quelques tentatives de démarrer le récit dans un contexte légèrement différent (au restaurant par exemple) ou de le transporter dans un autre environnement que Moulinsart (en France ou en Italie par exemple) et malgré la proposition faite par Greg de commencer de façon moins mouvementée, Hergé est à chaque fois revenu à son ouverture « sur les chapeaux de roues » mettant en scène la voiture de sport du capitaine Haddock, une Volkswagen Coccinelle (la voiture du fugitif), un camion — on verra que la source involontaire de l’accident de ce dernier est un transport de glaces de la firme Motta — et une puissante berline allemande (la Porsche des poursuivants). Six des huit crayonnés qui composent le début de l’épisode font partie des « trésors » du Musée Hergé à Louvain-la-Neuve. Deux d’entre eux ont en revanche été offerts par Hergé, ceci après qu’il ait renoncé à mener ce récit à bien, préférant entreprendre en fin d’année 1960 Les Bijoux de la Castafiore. L’un de ces crayonnés (portant le numéro 4) a été offert au dessinateur Gilbert Gascard, dit Tibet, le 23 février 1961, et l’autre (portant le numéro 3) à son collaborateur Bob De Moor le 22 avril 1977. Du grand et beau spectacle — On peut imaginer que le jour où Tibet a rendu visite à Hergé, celui-ci lui a permis de choisir, parmi les crayonnés de cet épisode inachevé, celui qui lui plairait vraiment. On peut dire que le « père » de Ric Hochet et de Chick Bill a fait preuve ce jour-là d’un goût très sûr. Souplesse, vivacité, action… les qualificatifs ne manquent pas pour décrire ce qui se passe sur cette quatrième page d’un récit qui a démarré en trombe. C’est sous une pluie battante, et sous les yeux de Tintin et de Haddock, qui la suivaient, que la Coccinelle s’est écrasée contre un arbre. Le capitaine a freiné sec (un véritable exploit dans ce contexte pluvieux !) et s’est extrait péniblement de son siège (conduite à droite… c’est une MG !) tandis que Tintin, plus jeune et plus agile que lui, s’est déjà porté au secours du conducteur. Arcbouté sur la poignée, il a réussi à ouvrir la portière. Et, tandis que son compagnon semble danser le charleston (en réalité, une transe due à la douleur), il entreprend, avec l’aide d’autres personnes accourues sur les lieux de l’accident, d’extraire le blessé, inconscient, de la carcasse de son véhicule. Très avisé, comme d’habitude, il fait étendre une couverture sur le sol et prend la précaution de recouvrir de son imperméable le corps du malheureux, en attendant les secours. Surgit alors la voiture des mystérieux Allemands, qui reconnaissent la Volkswagen qu’ils poursuivaient, et dont on devine qu’ils vont s’arrêter pour intervenir. Tension dramatique, gags, mystère, mouvement, portraits pris sur le vif… tous les ressorts habituellement mis en œuvre par Hergé sont présents dans ce qui constitue certainement la séquence clé de l’épisode. Le blessé, reprenant conscience un instant, va glisser dans la poche du vêtement qui le recouvre l’objet autour duquel vont se dérouler, en connaissance de cause ou pas, toutes les péripéties du récit. Qui oserait dire qu’Hergé n’est pas à l’aise ici, qu’il n’apparaît pas en pleine possession de ses moyens, et qu’il n’est pas confiant en la suite ? On n’en aura pas de sitôt fini de s’interroger sur les vrais motifs qui l’ont fait renoncer à cet épisode dans lequel, on le constate, il s’était totalement investi. La faute aux Bijoux de la Castafiore, qui lui aura permis de se lancer dans quelque chose de totalement différent ? Peut-être. On pourrait dire que cet abandon correspond aussi au moment où sa vie basculait : c’est à cette époque, au cours de laquelle il a produit Tintin au Tibet, qu’il a décidé de quitter son épouse pour vivre un nouvel amour.

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-11-19
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HERGÉ

HERGÉ TINTIN L’ÉTOILE MYSTÉRIEUSE Illustration réalisée pour un album à colorier édité en 1947. Encre de Chine sur papier 15,3 X 21,3 CM (6,02 X 8,39 IN.) En 1944, lorsqu’il entreprend la réalisation des trente-six illustrations qui composeront les trois albums à colorier pour lesquels son agent a accordé une licence en son nom, Hergé recherche dans ses albums des scènes particulièrement évocatrices des tensions vécues par Tintin. Certaines seront recomposées, voire réinventées, tandis que d’autres, pleinement satisfaisantes dès leur apparition dans le récit, se contenteront d’une adaptation légère ou d’un simple toilettage. Un exemple ? Dans l’album, la toile qui court le long de l’armature s’en écarte légèrement dans sa partie supérieure, laissant apparaître une infime portion de vagues. Sur l’image à colorier, elle apparaît mieux fixée, et dès lors sans équivoque pour le coloriage de l’enfant. Un trait plus homogène a également été requis, délimitant plus précisément que dans l’album certaines des zones colorées (ou à colorier). L’album L’Étoile mystérieuse avait été publié deux ans plus tôt. Il fut le premier à paraître directement en couleur, mais une partie des dessins qui le composent avaient été conçus pour le noir et blanc. C’est pourquoi, dans l’album, certaines zones — dans le cas présent les reflets sur le pont mouillé de l’Aurore — n’étaient pas “serties” (fermées au moyen d’un trait). Dans l’album à colorier, il s’agit de favoriser une mise en couleur aisée de la part des enfants, en leur proposant une image de référence parfaite à cet égard. En reprenant les formes de la douzième case de la planche 25 de l’album, Hergé ne tient évidemment pas compte des reflets dont sa coloriste Alice Devos avait doté les cirés des personnages. Cela compliquerait la tâche des enfants. Il ajuste également le cadrage, déplace imperceptiblement certains éléments pour apporter plus de lisibilité à l’image. Il élimine bien évidemment le phylactère qui, pourtant, marquait si drôlement la différence entre le pied marin du capitaine et celui de Tintin, qui ne l’est manifestement pas : « Ah, c’est vous ?... Jolie brise, n’est-ce pas ?... » On le constate : à la faveur de cette élimination, Hergé s’est rendu compte que dans l’album il avait oublié de prolonger à droite du phylactère la barre métallique qu’il avait amorcée à sa gauche. Sur l’image à colorier, cette armature du poste de pilotage a été fort heureusement complétée. Mais comme le révèle la retouche à la gouache blanche portée sur le dessin original, il a reculé le montant vertical qui, derrière la gouverne (le support de la barre) aurait semblé la prolonger. Ici, la Ligne Claire règne en maître !…

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-05-21
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GONE WITH THE WIND

GONE WITH THE WIND Clark Gable's personal script for Gone With The Wind, 1939. The cover of the maroon leather bound script is embossed GONE WITH THE WIND SCREEN PLAY and CLARK GABLE, on the inside cover, the actor's personal bookplate; the text pages bound with eight black and white stills from the film featuring the actor as "Rhett Butler" with Vivien Leigh as "Scarlett O'Hara". Inscribed and signed by producer David Selznick on the first page of the script: For Clark, Who made the dream of fifty million Americans (who couldn't be - and weren't - wrong!), and one producer come true! With gratitude for a superb performance and a happy association, David Xmas, 1939 By the late 1930s millions had read a sensational book by Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell. "Gone With The Wind" was an overnight success, selling millions of copies and immortalizing it's characters. Selznick International Pictures was overwhelmed from the start with letters from the public suggesting casting possiblities for it's beloved Scarlett and Rhett. While everyone wanted Clark Gable as the dashing leading man, there was only one problem; Gable did not want to play Rhett Butler. He was quoted as saying, "It wasn't that I didn't appreciate the compliment the public was paying me, it was simply that Rhett was too big an order. I didn't want any part of him, Rhett was too much for any actor to tackle in his right mind." Since he was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, who did not want its' star making money for anyone else, Gable felt safe that he could avoid taking on the role. Fate had a different idea when David Selznick and M.G.M. Studio head Louis B. Mayer made one of the most infamous deals in Hollywood history. For the services of Clark Gable and a cash investment of over one million dollars, M.G.M. would receive the distribution rights and one half of the profits for Gone With The Wind. In August 1938 Gable signed on; "I could have put up a fight," the actor said, "I didn't." As they say, the rest is history.

  • USAUSA
  • 1996-12-15
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GONE WITH THE WIND 1939, BEST DIRECTOR ACADEMY AWARD PRESENTED TO

GONE WITH THE WIND 1939, BEST DIRECTOR ACADEMY AWARD PRESENTED TO VICTOR FLEMING The gold plated brittania statue with the front plaque inscribed ACADEMY FIRST AWARD TO VICTOR FLEMING FOR DIRECTION OF "GONE WITH THE WIND"; on the reverse of the base of the plaque [ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES FIRST AWARD] 1939--12 in. high--replated--slightly leaning. Victor Fleming (1883 - 1949) began his career in Hollywood as an assistant cameraman at the American Film Co. in 1910. After a stint in the photographic section of the U.S. Army Signal Corp. during World War I, he directed his first silent feature film, the 1919 When Clouds Roll By, starring Douglas Fairbanks. After seven years with Paramount Pictures, Fleming began his long-term relationship with M.G.M. Studios. 1939 was an historical year for Louis B. Mayer and Company: The Wizard of Oz, their most expensive production to date, was in full swing with Dick Thorpe at the director's helm, soon to be replaced by George Cukor, who was waiting to begin work on Selznick Picture's epic Gone With The Wind. In the middle of the production of the Wizard Of Oz, Cukor left to fulfill his commitment to Selznick, and Victor Fleming took over on Gone With The Wind. In a classic Hollywood twist, George Cukor (citing "creative differences" with David Selznick) proceeded to walk off the production of Gone With The Wind in a panic. After checking around at M.G.M., Selznick decided to pull Fleming off the set of The Wizard of Oz (with three weeks of filming remaining, King Vidor finished the picture). Out of loyalty to his great friend Clark Gable, Victor Fleming agreed to do it. Victor Fleming was appalled with the Gone With The Wind script and refused to begin shooting until a final screenplay had been drafted. Ben Hecht was brought in and instead of reading the book, Selznick and Fleming acted out the story (Selznick playing the parts of Scarlett and Ashley, Fleming as Rhett and Melanie). After five days and nights the script was finished and Victor Fleming resumed shooting. One of his many invaluable touches was the filming of the wounded soldier scene. Since only eight hundred out of two thousand extras answered the call, the panoramic spectacle and "pullback" shot was achieved with the actors groaning in pain and manipulating mannequins at the same time. Gone With The Wind would go on to capture a record ten Academy Awards in 1940. Hollywood folklore has it that when Fleming won the Award for Best Director (and Gable lost out to Robert Donat), the director playfully tossed the Oscar to his friend claiming "Here, you have it!" - thus the slight lean to the statue. Victor Fleming's technical and creative contributions to two of the great American films of all time is immeasurable.

  • USAUSA
  • 1994-12-06
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CITIZEN KANE

CITIZEN KANE Dateline -- New York City, 1941. "Citizen Kane is far and away the most surprising film and cinematically exciting motion picture to be seen here ... As a matter of fact, it comes close to being the most sensational film ever made in Hollywood." Bosley Crowther 'New York Times'. "Staggering and belongs at once among the great screen achievements." New York 'World Telegram'. "Not since Chaplin's A Woman in Paris, has an American film struck an art and an industry with comparable force" Archer Winston, 'New York Post'. CITIZEN KANE Gold plated metal statue on black base with front plaque inscribed "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences First Award 1941" and plaque on opposite side inscribed "Academy First Award to Herman J. Mankiewicz for Writing Original Screenplay of Citizen Kane". Statue is a substantial 7.5 lbs, lightly patinated and bears the inscription 'G. Stanley". Citizen Kane tells the story of an American icon and begins simply enough, with a man's death, and a news reel obituary, in which he is alternately vilified for being a communist, a fascist, a vulgar man of the people, a robber baron and a number of other contradictory stereotypes. When a reporter finds the story intellectually unrevealing, he sets out to penetrate the enigma of the great man. A team is assembled to find people who were close to Kane. And so begins a perplexing journey of discovery to uncover the nature of the enigma known as Charles Foster Kane and, by extension, of America itself. It was not, strictly speaking, a commercial success. It was densely detailed and structurally unfamiliar for the audiences of the day, more used to stories with a straight line of advance. But more to the point, it was the object of a smear campaign directed by the man it was popularly thought to portray. William Randolph Hearst, marshaled all the considerable resources of his media empire to do his utmost to undermine and destroy the film. Those theaters that showed the picture did so at their peril, and were denied advertising in the pages of Hearst newspapers. In one particularly obscene gesture, Louis B. Meyer offered to pay RKO the full amount of its investment in the picture, if it would destroy the negative before the film could be released. The picture so many tried so hard to destroy is viewed differently today. The American Film Institute has ranked Citizen Kane as the greatest American film of all time -- this in a field where Selznick's Gone With the Wind is ranked number four behind Kane, Casablanca and The Godfather. Citizen Kane was different from any movie made previously in the United States. It was a radical departure and in a sense, an awakening of what film was capable, and incapable of achieving under the studio system. The actors were virtual unknowns, indeed, totally inexperienced in the movie business having been veterans of Welles' New York theatre company. Greg Toland was hired for his revolutionary lighting techniques and his brilliance behind the lens, many of which he manufactured himself from his own designs as they did not yet exist commercially. And, finally, for his most important acquisition, Herman J. Mankiewicz who would in seclusion in the desert town of Victorville, California conceive and write his most brilliant and subversive work -- American. Herman Mankiewicz *(1897-1953) began his career as a reporter for the New York Tribune, and after serving in the marines during WWI, worked in Paris and Berlin, eventually finding his way back to New York where he wrote for the New York Times, and later became the first drama critic for The New Yorker. In 1926 he moved to Hollywood, and over the next quarter century wrote or co-wrote nearly 50 films. Although he was often uncredited, he had a hand in some very good pictures, including Horsefeathers, Duck Soup, The Wizard of Oz, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Dinner at Eight and others. But his supreme achievement was American, later retitled Citizen Kane for which, perversely enough, he was still almost dealt out of the credits. It may also worth mentioning that the year after he took the Oscar for Kane, he was again nominated for Best Screenplay for Pride of the Yankees. Propelled by American, Citizen Kane forever changed the character of American cinema. Sound, cinematography, direction, casting were all approached in new ways. And although nominated by the Academy for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Score, and Best Screenplay, it won only the latter. The award was shared with Welles, largely because his RKO contract had required that he act, produce, direct and write the film. But it was Mankiewicz whose original conception culminated in the magnificent script for which recognition -- despite all the hostility, distrust and animosity of the Hollywood and Hearst forces -- could not be denied. And was Hearst's aversion justified? Was Charles Foster Kane really William Randoph Hearst? It can be said that Mankiewicz, a brilliant man and serious student of American history, had chaffed in his part as a bit player in a system which treated the writer as a necessary if contemptible evil. He knew Hearst and of his film mogul pretensions. He had been to San Simeon. He was, in fact, a frequent dinner guest at the castle, and usually sat at Hearst's right hand at the grand table. Where Kane's story departed from Hearst's, Hearst saw misrepresentation; where it paralleled his own, he saw insult, ingratitude and invasion of privacy. Who knows what Mankiewicz saw, but it's clear how he felt. In many respects he represented a whole generation of disenfranchised, and neglected writers. He had here got his revenge, and provided Welles his magnum opus. Welles himself had written about how Mankiewicz felt in these words: "The big studio system often made writers feel like second-class citizens a lot of them were pretty bitter and miserable. And nobody was more miserable, more bitter, and funnier than Mank ... a perfect monument to self-destruction." Kane undoubtedly was a product of both minds. Yet Rita Alexander, who typed the original script and had custody of all the drafts through shooting, has said that Orson Welles did not write "one single word." Richard Corliss of 'Time' writes, "The obvious answer to the dilemma is that Herman Mankiewicz wrote the film, and Orson Welles directed it." In the end, both men had made history. And how does Citizen Kane truly stand the test of time, and where is it really in the pantheon of American cinema, and popular culture? David Thomson, the respected film historian and author of highly acclaimed books on Welles and Selznick both, writes in his 1996 biography Rosebud, that "[Citizen Kane is] the greatest movie that ever has been or will be made, the work that sums up the entire medium and holds it in reserve for those prepared to look and consider the ultimate destruction of the thing called cinema." For this, the most important American film ever made, there exists but two gold statues. Of the two, the one belonging to the Mankiewicz heirs is offered here, while Welles' award is the subject of litigation between the Estate and those currently holding it in their possession. Rosebud? What is the central enigma that is Kane, which at heart is beyond a simple and ubiquitous case of lost innocence? "The structure is very intricate; the dialogue is brilliant; the overall view of America and its functioning is ironic; and the mood is pessimistic - not just in wondering whether this man was happy or fulfilled but in its suspicion that meaning itself, and human purpose, is a vain hope. The script's role and originality can never be denied, for Kane is nearly the only movie to suspect that power, wealth, prowess and ambition are forlorn engines, the noise of which tries to hide silence and emptiness." David Thomson -- "Rosebud" Citizen Kane Citizen Kane Citizen Kane Citizen Kane

  • USAUSA
  • 1999-11-18
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Withdrawal

Joe DiMaggio's 1936 New York Yankees Rookie Home Uniform

Joe DiMaggio's 1936 New York Yankees Rookie Home Uniform, "I'm just a ballplayer with one ambition, and that is to give all I've got to help my ball club win. I've never played any other way." Joe DiMaggio From 1936-1951, less three years in the service during Word War II, Joe DiMaggio gave his all to the New York Yankees, helping them win 9 World Championships. Joe began his pro career with the San Francisco Seals in 1933, where, as an eighteen-year old rookie, he set a Pacific Coast League record by hitting safely in 61 consecutive games, a portent of his future success. "Baseball didn't really get into my blood until I knocked off that hitting streak," DiMaggio said. "Getting a daily hit became more important to me than eating, drinking or sleeping. Overnight I became a personality." After the 1934 season, the Yankees bought DiMaggio for a reported $25,000 and five players. They kept Joe in San Francisco for another year of seasoning, where, in 1935, he starred with a .398 average, 34 homers and 154 RBI. 1936 While DiMaggio was tearing up the PCL, the Yankees were struggling to recapture their championship identity. In the spring of 1936, they were a team that in the past seven years had won only one pennant and World Series. They had played the 1935 season without Babe Ruth who, after being insulted by Jacob Ruppert's $1 offer, left to play briefly for the Boston Braves before retiring for good. While Lou Gehrig continued his quiet excellence and George Selkirk picked up a bit of the Bambino's slack with 94 RBI's, in 1935 the Yankees once again finished second to the World Champion Detroit Tigers, led by their quartet of slugging Hall of Famers, Cochrane, Greenberg, Goslin and Gehringer. Could the San Franciscan rookie lead the Yankees back to the World Series? The anticipation that surrounded DiMaggio's debut with the Yankees was without precedent. The frenzy, perpetuated among fans, team officials, and especially the media, was heightened by an unexpected delay as a result of a foot injury that kept DiMaggio sidelined for the first few weeks. While the star rookie mended what one New York paper dubbed "The Most Famous Hot-Foot in Yankee History" the Yankee Box office got hundred of letters asking: When would DiMaggio play? The papers covered his medical exams, his every appearance at the ballpark, even satirically speculating on the new layers of skin on his foot. The New York Times ran a lively exchange of letters from readers arguing out the pronunciation of "Dee-Mah-Jee-O". The Yanks were playing well, but not well enough: after eighteen games, at eleven and seven, they were just where they'd finished the last three years-second place. Finally the papers trumpeted the glad news: the kid would play on Sunday, May 3 against the St. Louis Browns. A crowd of more than twenty -five thousand (by far the largest since Opening Day) braved cool and showery weather to cheer the debut. "An astonishing portion of the crowd," said the New York Post "was composed of strangers to sport-mostly Italians- who did not even know the stadium subway station." Perhaps it was these fans who rose to their feet along with the rest, whose cheers were heard above all others when young Joe, wearing number 9, made his first plate appearance-with Yankee runners on first and third. Even as Joe grounded a tame "fielder's choice" to third, the electricity of the moment was sustained. Later, in the sixth, Joe got a hold of a pitch from "Chief" Elon Hogsett and drove it, as the Post remarked, "like a cannon shot between the center and left fielders," and DiMaggio had his first big-league triple. The game as a whole was never in doubt: the Browns' pitching was awful; but who cared? The daily news ran DiMaggio headlines three inches high, but in the lead tried to keep matters in perspective: "This is the story of Joseph DiMaggio, a kid from San Francisco, though it might be proper to mention that the Yankees beat St Louis 14-5, at the stadium yesterday." From the moment DiMaggio first put on his pinstripes, he made the Yankees "his" team. By late May, Joe was leading the league with a .411 average, and the Yankees were streaking. On the last day of May, they won their fifth straight, to sweep the Red Sox (whom they now led by four and a half games), when DiMaggio singled in the seventh to tie, and tripled in the twelfth to win the game. Almost forty-two thousand fans, including Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, left Yankee Stadium to tell of the rookie's glory. Young Joe had to leave the ballpark in a phalanx of cops, to protect him from adoring fans. It was seldom mentioned all year that Gehrig was having an AL MVP season, that Dickey was pounding the ball flat: or that the whole Yankee offense was producing runs at the rate of the mighty '27 Yanks. The story was painted in bold black and white: The Yanks, resurgent, were racing toward a pennant. And the reason for the resurgence was Joe. DiMaggio and the Yanks were the story everywhere in the country. Writers in every AL town used the coming of the rookie wonder to build attendance for their local clubs. In the month before the All-Star Game, the AP baseball feature named the rookie DiMaggio seven times (Dizzy Dean, with four mentions, ranked a distant second.) Little wonder, in the count of two million ballots from fans in forty-eight states and Canada, Joe led the voting for the 1936 AL All-Star outfield. And in case anyone had missed the story, in its July 13th issue, Time Magazine took the occasion of the All-Star Game to look in on baseball- and on the cover there appeared a full length photo of DiMaggio, swinging ferociously in his rookie pinstripes. The 1936 Yankees won the pennant by a whopping 19 ½ games over the Tigers, largely due to Joe's .323 average, 29 HRs, and 125 RBI and league leading 22 assists. Had there been a Rookie of the Year Award in 1936 it would have been Joe's. In the 1936 Series match up with the cross town Giants, Joe added the exclamation point on his extraordinary rookie campaign, hitting .346 in the six game series, helping secure a World Series title for the Yankees, the first of four consecutive championships. His rookie year of 1936 was the first of many spectacular seasons for DiMaggio, in a career that would include a litany of feats and eight more World Series rings. When DiMaggio retired in 1951, he had a lifetime average of .325. He won two home-run crowns (1937 and 1948) on his way to 361. DiMaggio hit over .300 eleven times and won two batting titles - .381 in 1939 and .352 in 1940. In 1941, he hit in 56 consecutive games, a record to this day. He knocked in more than 100 runs nine times, leading the American League with 125 in 1941 and 155 in 1948 and finishing second with 167 in 1937. He won three Most Valuable Player Awards (1939, 1941 and 1947). But for DiMaggio himself, 1936 would forever remain his most dear season in baseball. His fond reflections of 1936 later in his life are well documented. Those who knew him best have recalled that a picture of the 1936 Yankees team was among the few baseball-related photographs that hung in his home. And of all the rings, hardware, and other honors bestowed upon one of baseball's most highly decorated players, it was his 1936 World Series ring he cherished above all others, worn with pride until it was removed from his finger on the day he died. Charles "Smoke" Mason Growing up in the Ozarks area of southwest Missouri, Mason's live arm earned him the nickname "Smoke" and took him to the University of Missouri. After his final season there in 1938, he was approached by Yankees scout Bill Essick. Signed in May of 1938 for $1,300, including $1,200 to pay off school debt and $100 for his pocket, Mason boarded a bus to Joplin, Missouri to play for the Yankees' Joplin Miners farm team. When he arrived in Joplin, Mason met the equipment manager, who chose a work out uniform for Mason from a mound of used uniforms that had been sent down from New York by the big league club as a cost saving measure. In a decision that took but a moment of thought, with consideration given only to size and shape, Charles Mason was handed what, unbeknownst to him, would someday be looked upon as a national heirloom. Mason worked out in his designated uniform only for a few weeks before the Joplin season began and he donned the official Miners team uniform. He kept the pinstriped "workout uniform" in his locker throughout the 1938 season, with little use for it then and virtually no sense of its significance. It stayed with him through a second season with Joplin in 1939, during which he experienced the one and only encounter of his life with Joe DiMaggio in person. During spring training in Kansas City, Florida, DiMaggio, taking a break from preparing for his fourth big league campaign, paid a visit to the aspiring Yankee prospects. Mason recalled that he was seated in the dugout along with five other players when the Yankee Clipper strolled by, pausing to greet them casually. According to Mason he simply said, "Hello fellas", but the impact was lasting. The impression left by DiMaggio, whose legend was rooted, but far from fruition at that time, abolished Mason's obliviousness to the old uniform, which bore this man's name in red stitching. At seasons end, Mason asked Mr. Becker if he could keep it. Becker said "Well, what the heck are you going to do with it, Charles?" Charles said, "I need a uniform to wear when I go back to Willow Springs. We play a lot of ball down there in the hills." Years later, Mason would reflect that his being allowed to keep the uniform was not customary; attributing Mr. Becker's exception to his feeling that he had a good prospect on his hands in "Smoke" Mason.  Upon his return to Willow Springs in 1939, baseball became secondary in Mason's life. His father took ill, passing away shortly thereafter, and the uniform was relegated to a closet at his parent's house. The next drastic turn in his life came with World War II when Mason went to serve in Panama. After the war, he met and married Frances Cochran in 1950. The forgotten uniform lay dormant until sometime in the 1950's when Frances discovered it in the corner of the closet, while helping clean out his mother's house. Its fate resting in her hands, she opted to save what another might have deemed disposable.     Number Nine Manufactured by Spalding, the uniform, consisting of a jersey and pants is one of only two home pinstriped uniforms issued to Joe DiMaggio for the 1936 season (He was also issued two road uniforms, one of which resides in the Hall of Fame). Tagged exclusively for DiMaggio, the uniform features red chain stitching in the collar that reads "Joe DiMaggio 9", while similar chain stitching in the pants reads, "Joe DiMaggio 9, 36" referencing the player, uniform number, and year of issue. DiMaggio was only assigned the uniform number 9 for his rookie season, after which he would don number 5 for the remainder of his career. It is important to note that in 1936, uniform numbers were issued based on a player's appearance in the batting order (ie: Gehrig's number 4 denoting his position in the clean-up spot). For incoming rookies who had not established such a position within the order, numbers were assigned in ascension based on their status as a prospect. DiMaggio was so highly touted that he was issued number 9, the lowest number available to a rookie. Every technical aspect of this uniform is as it was when Joe DiMaggio made his Yankees debut with the exception of the sleeves having been cut and the customary removal of the "NY" logo from the front of the jersey, which was done upon its designation for minor league service. No other lettering was ever applied to the front, and the "NY" outline is still clearly visible on the left breast. The jersey and pants retain superb visual appeal, demonstrating substantial, but not excessive usage wear.  Team repairs appear on the pants and a few rust spots on the uniform have been cleaned. In addition to the jersey's documented lineage, it is supported by no less than half a dozen "photo matches". Every Yankee pinstriped flannel garment of this era is as unique as a snowflake because each jersey and pants were hand stitched, so the pinstripe patterns vary from uniform. The alignment of the pinstripes on both the pants and jersey (most readily apparent at the seams of the shoulders, collar, number, and 'NY' outline) and pants (waistband, belt loops, inseam) provide exact matches to several photos of DiMaggio from 1936, many of which are presented here. Among the most compelling photo matches is an image catalogued by Corbis as being taken during the 1936 World Series (shown), providing clear evidence that this jersey was worn by Joe during his first appearance in the Fall Classic. LOA from MEARS.

  • USAUSA
  • 2008-04-24
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EDGAR P. JACOBS

EDGAR P. JACOBS BLAKE ET MORTIMER LE MYSTÈRE DE LA GRANDE PYRAMIDE T.2 (T.4), LE LOMBARD 1955 Planche originale n°52 prépubliée dans Le Journal de Tintin belge n°20 de mai 1952. Encre de Chine sur papier 36 X 46,5 CM (14,17 X 18,31 IN.) Après avoir sauvé le monde de la dictature de “Bazam le cruel”, Blake et Mortimer partent à la recherche du secret le mieux gardé d’Égypte : le trésor de la Grande Pyramide. Le Papyrus de Manéthon met le sagace Mortimer sur sa piste… Mais bien des surprises l’attendent dont la moindre n’est pas le retour de son pire ennemi : Olrik ! Jacobs aura mis trois ans à préparer cet album. Trois ans à rassembler et compulser des documents afin d’élaborer sa thèse : celle d’une chambre secrète inexplorée, dissimulée dans la Grande Pyramide, qui recèlerait un trésor inestimable. Il se plonge dans les ouvrages des grands auteurs de l’histoire de la civilisation égyptienne : Hérodote, la liste des sept merveilles de Strabon, ainsi que dans divers travaux d’égyptologues français dont Gaston Maspero, évoqué dans cette aventure, qui fonda le Musée égyptien du Caire et fit désensabler le Sphinx de Gizeh. C’est donc en véritable érudit qu’il va voir pour la première fois le professeur Pierre Gilbert, directeur de la Fondation égyptologique Reine-Elisabeth et conservateur du Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Cinquantenaire à Bruxelles. Il lui expose ses hypothèses concernant l’existence de la chambre d’Horus et, tout en lui laissant la responsabilité de ses théories, l’homme de science leur accorde une certaine validité scientifique. Il tente toutefois de le dissuader de situer son aventure sur le plateau de Gizeh, tant le nombre de fouilles archéologiques menées jusque-là y rendaient toute nouvelle découverte improbable. Mais Jacobs tenait à son idée. Bien lui en prit : au moment même où s’achève la publication du Mystère de la Grande Pyramide dans Le Journal de Tintin, l’archéologue égyptien Kamal El Mallak découvre au pied des pyramides une barque solaire de Khéops en parfait état de conservation ! Cette planche se situe à la toute fin de l’aventure. Dans cet épilogue, nos amis ont réussi à s’échapper de “l’empire des morts”, et laissent le cheikh Abdel Razek condamner le redoutable Olrik aux affres de la folie. Là encore, la composition de Jacobs fait merveille. Triangulaire – pyramidale à tout dire –, elle démontre une nouvelle fois son talent pour la mise en scène. La page est balancée entre l’ombre des profondeurs et la lumière éclatante du jour : « Ouf ! Enfin, le soleil !... » dit Mortimer.

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-05-21
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FRANQUIN

FRANQUIN GASTON GALA DE GAFFES (T.2), DUPUIS 1963 FRANQUIN - JIDÉHEM, couverture originale. Gouache, aquarelle et encre de Chine sur papier 30 X 25,6 CM (11,81 X 10,08 IN.) Nous voici en présence de l’une des rares couvertures de Gaston Lagaffe disponibles sur le marché. Elle a été réalisée pour le deuxième volume de la collection (le troisième, si l’on compte le Gaston 0) publiée au format à l’italienne, par respect pour le format original de publication de Gaston en demi-pages à la Une du Journal de Spirou. Ces gags ont ensuite été compilés différemment, ce qui fait de ce dessin une pièce unique. Dans cette première partie des gags de Gaston, Jidéhem tient une part active, Franquin étant débordé par ses autres activités, notamment sur Spirou et Modeste et Pompon. Jidéhem a-t-il travaillé sur cette couverture ? Il revendique en tout cas la réalisation de la partie gauche du dessin. Je pense comme Philippe Queveau et les auteurs Yann, Batem, Colman et Hardy, tous spécialistes de l’oeuvre de Franquin, que ce dessin est entièrement de la main de Franquin. À noter que les indications manuscrites sur l’original sont autographes de Franquin. Ici, nul besoin de bulle explicative, le gag fonctionne sous la forme d’une ellipse dialoguée, un procédé narratif jusqu’ici totalement inédit : alors que Fantasio découvre un chalumeau, négligemment oublié par Gaston, en train de consumer le courrier des lecteurs, le gaffeur clame silencieusement son innocence. Exceptionnel. Daniel Maghen

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-05-21
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Heisman trophy original plaster sclpture by frank eliscu, 1935

For seventy years, the Heisman trophy has been awarded to the best player in college football, voted on by more than 1,000 sportswriters and announced every December at New York’s vaunted Downtown Athletic Club (DAC). Many of the players have become both household names, first round draft picks and Pro Football Hall of Famers, such as Paul Hornung, Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders and Roger Staubach, while winning the award remains the pinnacle for others who have left football for more private lives. Their excellence remains embodied in sport’s most dynamically sculpted trophy. The first award was called the DAC trophy. However, in 1936 gridiron coach, innovator  (he pushed to legalize the forward pass) and first DAC athletic director John Heisman passed away, and, in his honor the DAC renamed the trophy to reflect his contributions. The trophy itself - the running back in full stride with lhis right arm outstretched  is an icon of the sport of football, chosen by the DAC committee and instantly recognizable to the hardcore and casual fan alike. Frank Eliscu, a 23-year old sculptor New York native was chosen to design it to be cast in bronze. His first design was made of clay; his second sculpted in plaster to be used as the model for the mold. The follwing tribute to Eliscu and the Heisman trophy, written in 1990 by the late legendary New York Times obituary writer Robert McG. Thomas, Jr., most aptly describes the story behind the creation of the trophy and its sculptor. Frank Eliscu - From Feet of Clay to Greatness in Bronze Time is running out. His team is behind, and he has gotten the call. He has taken the handoff, broken through the line and bulled his way past the linebackers until he is not in the open field with only a single determined defender between him and the goal line. The game is in the balance. As the defender closes in from the right, sure that he can bring the ballcarrier down, the runner shifts the ball from his right hand and tucks it firmly into the crook of his left arm, pressing it close to his body. Then, in one fluid motion just as the tackler arrives, he takes a sudden graceful sidestep and throws his right arm out, shoving the tackler away with his open hand. As quickly as he appeared the tackler is gone, now merely an implicit fallen figure as the runner surges forward. The touchdown is made. The game is won. A beautiful run, but this is the moment we remember: the runner alone in full stride, his arm outstretched, moving away toward football immortality. If ever there was a run and a moment worthy of Heisman Trophy, this is it, but then, of course, this is the Heisman Trophy. That the Heisman Trophy is at once one of the world’s most recognized and respected awards for individual athletic achievement and an actual trophy-cast in bronze and standing on a black onyx base on a marble pedestal-may be more than happenstance. It is tempting to wonder whether the club’s annual presentation could have attained its present preeminence if the committee of founders had decided to honor the year’s outstanding college football player by establishing, say, a Heisman Award, symbolized by a suitably imposing plaque, or even a Heisman Cup, complete with graceful handles. But the actual unassailable fact is that when the members of the Downtown Athletic Club created the annual award in 1935 they also decreed that a trophy depicting a football player would be created along with it. And Frank Eliscu is the man they chose to create it. It is also tempting to wonder what the Heisman may have become if the founders had entrusted the trophy to another sculptor. They could hardly have known at the time that the Heisman would be the first of hundreds of celebrated works by Eliscu ranging in scale from the inaugural medals of President Gerald Ford and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to the monumental “Cascade of Books” above the entrance to the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress. At the time he was assigned to create what became known as the Heisman Trophy, Eliscu was an impoverished 23-year-old graduate of Pratt Institute whose sole professional output has been department store mannequins and dolls’ heads.  To be sure, he was not the first choice. To a man, those who were considered the leading sculptors of the day either turned up their noses at the very idea of creating a sports trophy or hid their disdain behind a demand for payment far beyond the club’s means. Eliscu was different. He needed the money. He no longer remembers exactly how he came to the committee’s attention, but as the 82-year-old Eliscu recalled in an interview from his home in Sarasota, Florida, in the spring of 1994, “It was my first commission.” If there seems to be a prayerful veneration in Eliscu’s work, it may be no accident. Eliscu, who was born in Brooklyn on July 13, 1912, and grew up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, recalled that the first tentative explorations of what was to become his art were made with the residue of his great-grandmother’s prayer candles. “I would take the paraffin with me into the tub when I took a bath and work it underwater,” he said. His first figures were of horses’ heads. “I loved to make animals,” he said. Eliscu’s horses seemed so real, so alive that his talent was instantly apparent. “I became something of a local celebrity,” he said. In time, word of his talent spread beyond Washington Heights to Harrison Tweed, one of New York’s most prominent lawyers and a major patron of the arts. Tweed, who operated what amounted to a summer arts colony for talented youngsters at his estate in Montauk, Long Island, invited Eliscu to spend 10 weeks at the camp, and a lasting friendship was born. “He became the closest thing next to my own father,” Eliscu said. Tweed introduced the young Eliscu to leading American artists and gave Eliscu’s own art an important boost by paying the production costs of his first work in bronze, “Diana and the Fawn,” which was exhibited at the National Academy of Design while Eliscu was still in high school. Unable to afford college after graduation from George Washington High School, Eliscu worked for a mannequin maker and a toy company before he won a scholarship covering the first year of a three-year art program at Pratt. When the scholarship ran out, Tweed came to the rescue, paying for the last two years in exchange for art lessons every Monday night in his apartment at 10 Gracie Square. Tweed, whose name has been preserved in the law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, also performed a critical service when Eliscu was offered the Heisman assignment. “He insisted on looking over the contract before I signed it,” Eliscu said. After it passed muster, Eliscu signed it and went to work. Much as he needed the $200 fee, Eliscu has always insisted that he approached the work not as a commercial venture but as a labor of love, which is to say, a labor of art.  “I wanted to make the best thing I could,” he said. “I worked and I changed, and I gave it everything I could.”   Working entirely from his imagination, his only guidance from the club was to produce a football player in action, Eliscu made three wax “sketches,” about four inches high, of different poses. It is interesting to speculate how well defensive players might have fared in the annual balloting if the club had selected Eliscu’s favorite. It was of a lineman tackling a ballcarrier, their conjoined bodies rising into a graceful S. When the sketches were completed, a three-coach delegation from the club, Lou Little of Columbia, Jim Crowley of Fordham and John Heisman himself, paid an inspection visit to Eliscu’s studio at the old Clay Club at 4 West 8th Street. All agreed on the straight-arming ballcarrier, but after studying the figure, it was suggested that the outstretched arm, which Eliscu has pointed straight ahead, would be more natural if it extended out to the side, to better mimic how a runner would push a tackler away. To drive their point home, as Eliscu watched openmouthed, three of the most famous figures in the world of football held an impromptu mock scrimmage right there in this studio, taking turns stiff-arming each other. Eliscu got the point and simply pushed the pliable wax arm back until it pointed in the correct direction. To translate the form into the ultimate trophy, Eliscu worked in clay attached to an armature made of lead wire. He used his own imagination, “artistic license,” he calls it, in forming the body and shaping and detailing the powerful biceps and calf muscles that are so prominent on the muscular figure. Even the face, he said, was of his own imagining. The one area he was not willing to trust to his artistic vision was the figure’s costume. Knowing that Ed Smith, a high school classmate, was a football player at New York University, Eliscu asked Smith to bring his uniform to the studio and pose in it. The Heisman may have been Eliscu’s first professional work, but it was hardly his last. Since then there has rarely been a day that Eliscu has not spent creating. He even rendered crucial artistic service to the nation in World War II. Assigned to an Army engineering unit at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, he spent the early part of the war making invasion maps and models for landings from Salerno to Normandy. Then, after a flood of war casualties began arriving back in the United States, he was transferred to a medical unit at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where he assisted in the grisly work of assisting in plastic surgery and cutting cartilage to form into noses and chins. Eliscu, by then a sergeant, gained an unusual footnote in the history of plastic surgery when he developed a technique of tattooing to remove birthmarks and provide color to reconstructed lips. Since the war Eliscu has not only been one of the nation’s most acclaimed and honored artists, he has also been one of the most prolific. He has turned out hundreds of pieces from the studio he maintained first at his home in Ossining, New York, and more recently in Sarasota, Florida, where he lived with his wife, Mildred. Whatever his subject and whatever his medium, Eliscu, who has worked in everything from wax to stone, strives to satisfy his lifelong passion for breathing movement into otherwise inanimate objects. “To me, movement is almost giving life to bronze,” he said. “I try to put [in] action even if a thing is stilled or seated, through expression or a tilt of the head.” He also shuns abstract art in favor of realistic forms, which allow him to achieve, as he puts it, “a sense of recall, where you look at something and you’re moved to recall what it makes you feel.” Ask him to name his favorite works, and Eliscu, who can choose them from museums all over the country, mentions his original, “Diana and the Fawn,” “Holocaust,” in Orlando; “Cascade of Books,” in Washington, D.C.; the “Shark Diver,” at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina; and, yes, the Heisman. “It’s an honest work,” he said. “I think that the Heisman has a feeling. I think that you can feel not only the movement but the intensity of the piece. That’s what I call honesty.” It is true that the statue depicts a run that never literally happened. Yet it symbolizes a run that happens every fall, year after year, just as Frank Eliscu imagined it. For him the Heisman is more than a trophy. It is a work of art. “I liked it then,” he said, “and I like it now.” Robert McG. Thomas Jr.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-12-10
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Babe ruth 1920 game bat signed and presented to chicago mayor william

Babe in the Big Apple "They all flock to see him,” because the American fan "likes the fellow who carries the wallop." – Miller Huggins In a time when baseball, reeling from the 1919 Black Sox scandal, declining attendance and declining credibility, needed a revitalization, Babe Ruth's bat saved the day. By destiny’s hand, the most visible, dominating, and popular athlete in American history was brought to New York City to play on baseball’s biggest stage. At the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, Babe Ruth turned baseball on its head, sparking fan interest and excitement, and the birth of the most enduring dynasty in sports history. As one of the games most promising young pitchers, Babe Ruth had led the Boston Red Sox to World Series titles in 1915, 1916 and 1918. Ruth's pitching mark was 89-46 with the Sox, but his booming bat was too loud to be heard only every four days. Red Sox manager Ed Barrow, at the suggestion of outfielder Harry Hooper, began playing the Babe in the outfield in-between his starts. By 1919, he played 130 games and was now an everyday player hitting home runs with unprecedented regularity. The long balls that flew from Babe Ruth’s bat also flew in the face of the games convention, changing its very nature with each successive clout. He seemed poised to lead the Red Sox to the top of the league for years to come. But, despite the Babe's obvious value as a slugger, he was dealt to the New York Yankees prior to the 1920 season, in a deal that would haunt Boston owner Harry Frazee forever. America was in a social revolution as the 1920’s began – Prohibition went into effect on January 16, just days after the announcement of Ruth’s sale to the Yankees – and baseball turned around as radically as the country did. The game changed more between 1917 and 1921 than it did in the next forty years. Despite the high-profile presence of such outstanding batters as Cobb, Wagner, Lajoie, Speaker, Jackson, and a few others, during the first two decades of the century hitting was a lesser art in a game that honored pitching and low scores. The term “inside” baseball was almost sacred, and John McGraw was its high priest. It meant playing for a run, a single run. Bunting, base-running, sacrificing were the core elements of baseball offense. All of this changed after Ruth’s breakthrough in 1919. It was not a gradual evolution but sudden and cataclysmic. Crushed by his sale to the Yankees, Ruth was uncertain of his future upon his arrival in New York City. But his doubts failed to affect his performance in 1920. During his first season in pinstripes Ruth clouted 54 homers, surpassing the combined totals of every other team in the majors except one. That same season, Ruth slugged an astonishing .847, a record that stood for more than 80 years. In 1920, the Yankees, coincidentally, became the first team to draw more than one million fans to a ballpark, more than double the attendance of any other club. In the media capitol of the world, the combination of Ruth’s boundless charisma and unmatched prowess on the diamond, elevated him to a level of popularity in his day greater than that of any public figure in American history.                       The Babe Meets Big Bill “My greatest desire is that no shadow of corruption, dishonesty or wrong-doing shall cloud any of the varied and multitudinous activities of the city government during my term of office.” – Chicago Mayor William Thompson in his Inaugural Address, April 26, 1915 William Hale Thompson, also known as 'Big Bill' Thompson, was one of Chicago's most interesting, colorful and eccentric mayors. He was known as the Builder Mayor, taking the mayoral oath of office a mere three short months before the city’s Eastland disaster. His corresponding actions and reactions immediately following the disaster and are a measurable and irrevocable part of Chicago history. Much like Babe Ruth, Big Bill was a larger-than-life demagogue. As a brilliant chameleon of a politician, he brought excitement and theatrics to the office and was renowned for his showmanship. Thompson once staged a "debate" between himself and two white rats, which he carried on stage to represent his political opponents. His speeches on many occasions provide a great insight into the period, the politics, and the mayor himself. However, in spite of many notable achievements throughout his three terms in office, Thompson’s tenure is characterized by controversy. Chicago in the twenties was ruled by gangsters - first Johnny Torrio, and then his successor Al Capone. Mayor Thompson was suspected of being in the pocket of both. During Big Bill's reign as mayor, the police were ineffective in combating organized crime. Bribery and corruption were rampant. Thompson was reputed to allow the gangsters free rein over the city. His critics said he ignored crime, concentrating instead on his own issues - including more anti-British saber rattling, and threats to "punch King George in the snoot." Thompson’s memorable political career ended after losing the race for governor in 1936 and a fifth campaign for mayor in 1939. On March 19, 1944, he died at the Blackstone Hotel at the age of 76. At the time of his death, though never factually linked to the underworld figures he was presumed to be beholden, two safe deposit boxes in his name were discovered to contain nearly $1.5 million in cash. While in office, the flamboyant Thompson never missed an opportunity to attract attention, regularly rubbing elbows with members of Chicago’s high society. In 1920, when Thompson’s home town White Sox hosted the Yankees at Comiskey Park, a press opportunity presented itself that Big Bill could not resist. No spotlight shone brighter than that which followed Babe Ruth, the most popular and enigmatic baseball star in the world.  Thompson sought to meet the great slugger, knowing full well that such a meeting of moguls would be great fodder for the local media. A Gift For the Ages Accepting a gracious invitation on the part of the Mayor of Chicago, Ruth was escorted to the office of Big Bill after an afternoon game on September 17th, 1920, which saw the Yankees fall to the White Sox by the score of 6-4 at Comiskey Park. He arrived bearing a gift of his game bat. Prior to handing over his embattled club in front of ready cameras, Ruth inscribed the barrel, “To Mayor Thompson, From ‘Babe’ Ruth September 17th, 1920”. No finer present could a baseball fan receive. Immediately, a place of prominence was designated for it, so that all whom entered the Mayors office could see that considered among Big Bill’s friends was the greatest ballplayer in the world. Things began to sour for Thompson in 1923. In the midst of campaigning for a third consecutive term, he learned that he was being investigated for fraud by the State's Attorney. Upon learning of this investigation, Thompson withdrew from the mayoral race. Going out with a flourish, the former mayor announced that he was leaving to head an expedition to the South Seas to find tree-climbing fish. "I have strong reason to believe that there are fish that come out of the water, can live on land, will jump three feet to catch a grasshopper, and will actually climb trees" he proclaimed. Prior to leaving office, Thompson asked his longtime secretary, one of his most loyal employees, if there was a certain memento he’d like to have as a keepsake from their years of working together. Having admired the bat every day since it was delivered by Ruth himself, it was given to him as a symbol of gratitude from the former Mayor. Babe Ruth 1920 Game Bat Signed and Presented to Chicago Mayor William “Big Bill” Thompson This bat is offered here on behalf of the family of this former secretary of Mayor Thompson. It is a monumental revelation in the field of sports memorabilia. In the category of Babe Ruth game used bats it stands near the pinnacle.  Condition wise, the 35 ¾ inch, 42 ½ ounce relic has few peers.  The markings, finish, and overall quality of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., “dash-dot-dash” model 125 are extraordinary. The usage wear is magnificent, indicating it was a favored weapon of Ruth’s. Furthermore, with provenance that is beyond reproach, it is one of a precious few legitimate Ruth game bats that bear his signature. An accompanying photograph of Ruth presenting the bat to the Mayor is detailed enough to show its grain pattern (a veritable “thumbprint” for bats). The addition of this “photomatch” elevates the status of this Ruth gamer into rarified company. It is a museum caliber treasure from Ruth’s pivotal first season as a Yankee, and arguably the most important of his storied career.  LOA’s: SCD Authentic (grade: A10* - Dave Bushing, Dan Knoll & Troy Kinunen), PSA/DNA (John Taube & Vince Malta), PSA/DNA (Steve Grad), Consignor Manufacturer Characteristics: Center Label: Louisville Slugger, Louisville, Ky. Label Description: Hillerich & Bradsby Co., 125 dash dot dash.  Trade Mark Reg. US Pat Off. Labeling Period: 1917-1921 (early Ruth signature model) Bat Weight: 42 ½ ounces Bat Length: 35 ¾ in. Finish: Standard Wood: Professional Grade Ash

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-06-10
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1932 babe ruth autographed game used bat - (psa/dna autograph grade mint 9)

"He was a circus, a play and a movie, all rolled into one," said teammate Lefty Gomez. "Kids adored him, Men idolized him. Women loved him. There was something about him that made him great." The most visible, dominating, and popular athlete in American history, Babe Ruth turned baseball and the world on its head. Long after his last home run, his name has come to signify greatness and strength. No item in the realm of sports memorabilia symbolizes the essence of American sport more so than a bat used by Babe Ruth. It is the tool he used to single handedly lift the game of baseball from its depths in the wake of the 1919 Black Sox scandal and reclaim its status as America’s National Pastime.  This is a game used Babe Ruth Hillerich & Bradsby professional model 125 bat that dates from one of the most storied seasons in his career. Based on factory records, this model is one of two identical bats, featuring a distinctive “Hack Wilson” style knob that was shipped to Ruth in 1932. That epic season culminated with Ruth’s infamous “Called Shot” against the Cubs in the World Series. The Yankees victory in that series brought Ruth his last of seven World Series titles. Measuring 33 ¾” in length and weighing 36.4 oz., the uncracked bat shows solid game use including numerous ball marks on the barrel. Made of the finest quality ash, the bat retains rich color, with strong factory markings. Elevating the stature of this bat into the pantheon of elite Ruth gamers is the fact that several years after it was retired by Ruth, the bats keeper got the Bambino to add his large, bold inscription, “To Jerry From Babe Ruth Sept. 11th 1939” ideally placed on the barrel. The quality of the inscription warranted a grade of MINT 9 based on a third party assessment by PSA/DNA, making it the highest graded autographed Ruth game bat recognized by that firm to date. The bat has been cautiously preserved, retaining a look and feel that reaches back to the golden years of baseball, when Ruth was King of the Diamond. LOAs from MEARS (Bat grade A8.5) and PSA/DNA (Auto. grade MINT 9).

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-06-24
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Fine and Important Märklin "Lusitania" Ocean Liner

Fine and Important Märklin "Lusitania" Ocean Liner Germany, circa 1912 , The first class passenger's acronym for the most desirable cabins, P.O.S.H. (Portside Out, Starboard Home) has become synonymous with sumptuous luxury. This is an apt description for the "Lusitania," one of Märklin's most important ocean liners crafted at the height of their creative genius. The deck, finished in faux wood planking, is fitted with a host of elegant and intricate details including working anchors and chain, tall foremast fitted with searchlight and crow's nest set just before a multi-tiered superstructure. This is fitted with a bridge with stairs and an observation post, four top quality funnels and over two dozen ventilators of various shapes and sizes, a walkway incorporating a cabin and domed panel skylight, and ship's wheel controlling the rudder bearing the Märklin logo. The hull is handsomely finished in white with portholes over a blue lower deck with portholes over copper red over brick red at keel and two hinged gates on railing with gangway secured below. Marked "Lusitania" in gold at bow on either side. There is a view of the lower deck made possible by small cutouts in the hull on both sides. This adds to the toy's realism on one hand while stirring the imagination on the other. Electric (dry cell) motor housed in hull. In the case of the "Lusitania" what is often said about wine is true of the toy's finish. Age has improved it. Its gentle fading and crazing add to its appeal and enforces the feeling that it is a regal survivor of a long ago era.   Length: 37 ½ inches

  • USAUSA
  • 2010-12-17
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Withdrawal

Circa 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Home Jersey

Circa 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Home Jersey, Lou Gehrig will forever be lost in the glare of New York Yankees teammate Babe Ruth's vast spotlight. But nothing about Gehrig's accomplishments should be minimized, from the 2,130 consecutive games he once played as the “Iron Horse” to his longtime link with Ruth as the enforcer of baseball's most prolific slugging duo. Gehrig was a rock-solid 6-foot, 210-pound left-handed slasher who rocketed line drives to all sections of the park, unlike the towering, majestic home runs that endeared Ruth to adoring fans. And unlike the gregarious Ruth, Gehrig was withdrawn, modest and unassuming, happy to let his teammate drink the fruits of their tandem celebrity. But those who played with and against Gehrig understood the power he could exert over a game. As the Yankees' first baseman, cleanup hitter and lineup protection for Ruth, Gehrig was an RBI machine. He won four American League titles and tied for another and his 184-RBI explosion in 1931 is a still-standing A.L. record. His 13 consecutive 100-RBI seasons—he averaged an incredible 147 from 1926-38--were a byproduct of 493 career home runs and a not-so-modest .340 average. It's hard to overstate the havoc wreaked by Gehrig's bat. He topped 400 total bases in five seasons, topped 150 RBIs seven times, hit a record 23 grand slams, won a 1934 Triple Crown, hit four homers in one 1932 game and cranked out a World Series average of .361 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. In 1927, when Ruth hit his record 60 home runs, Gehrig batted .373 with 47 homers and 175 RBIs winning the MVP award. The Ruth-Gehrig relationship powered the Yankees to three World Series championships, and when Ruth left New York after the 1934 season, Gehrig and young Joe DiMaggio powered the team to three more. But Gehrig is best remembered for the iron-man streak that lasted from 1925-39, when Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis— now known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ended his career prematurely and tugged at the heart strings of a nation. Gehrig, finally accorded the recognition that long had eluded him, died two years later. This is one of only a handful of known examples of a Lou Gehrig game used Yankees home pinstriped jersey. Based on a thorough inspection of jersey’s own physical traits as well as documented photographs of Gehrig wearing what appears to be an identical jersey, we have identified its era of usage to the 1931 season. In a career full of great seasons, 1931 was a watershed for Gehrig. He batted .341 and led the league with 184 RBIs setting a still-standing single season record. During the 1931 season, Ruth and Gehrig combined for 92 home runs and 347 runs batted in, the most ever by a pair of teammates. The Yankees, as a team, averaged more than seven runs a game. Gehrig, having never won a home run title, finally notched a league leading total of 46 in 1931. However, Gehrig had to share the title with Ruth who matched his output of 46. In April of that season an event occurred that can be viewed as a capsulization of Gehrig’s subordination to Ruth. With Lyn Lary on base, Lou Gehrig hit a home run into the stands at Washington. The ball, however, bounced back on the field and Lary saw a Washington outfielder catch it for what he believed was the last out of the inning. Gehrig circled the bases, but was called out when he "passed" Lary on the basepath as Lary headed for the dugout. Instead of a home run, Gehrig was credited with a triple, costing him the single home run he needed to claim sole ownership of the home run title at seasons end. Manufactured by Spalding, this jersey is tagged exclusively for Gehrig featuring red chain stitching in the collar that reads “L. Gehrig.” Every technical aspect of the body of this uniform is as it was when last in the custody of Gehrig with a few exceptions. All of the seams and tagging are original and unaltered. Gehrig’s own customization of cutting the sleeves can be validated by the photograph presented in the catalogue. Appropriately, there is no evidence of an “NY” logo ever having appeared on the front since this feature was not instituted on Yankees uniforms until 1936. Post-Gehrig alterations to the jersey include the removal of the felt portion of Gehrig’s number 4 on the back, although remnants of black stitching still reveal the outline of the numeral. Secondly, the outline of lettering that appears to be “STANTON” appears faintly on the front of the jersey indicating its one time designation for service in a minor league. The jersey shows signs of extensive use and wear including general and consistent soiling throughout the jersey. Significant fabric stress/damage appears in the upper back portion of the jersey as well as in the front shoulders with a 1/2”  hole on the left shoulder and fabric tears on the left. Most of these damaged areas have been professionally restored and reinforced in some cases by the addition of supportive fabric applied to the interior.  There are a few areas of red staining/fabric bleed in the lower 1/3 portion of the jersey. The second button from the top has been replaced, but this appears to be a vintage repair. In spite of these technical imperfections the jersey retains excellent visual appeal. In the pantheon of sports memorabilia a jersey worn by Lou Gehrig has few peers. Columnist Jim Murray called Gehrig "Gibraltar in cleats" and sportswriter John Kieran said of him, "His greatest record doesn't show in the book. It was the absolute reliability of Henry Louis Gehrig. He could be counted upon. He was there every day at the ballpark bending his back and ready to break his neck to win for his side. He was there day after day and year after year. He never sulked or whined or went into a pot or a huff". Gehrig was the same in baseball as he was when he faced a fatal disease that struck him in the prime of his life. Ruth may have been rightfully dubbed “The Sultan of Swat” or the “The Colossus of Clout” among other things, but Gehrig’s acclaim as “The Pride of The Yankees” has never been disputed. LOA from MEARS.

  • USAUSA
  • 2007-06-05
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Babe ruth’s 1938 brooklyn dodgers full uniform

In 1933, with Ruth aging and Gehrig slumping, the Yankees fell to second place. By this time the Babe seldom played an entire game, often being removed for defensive reasons in the late innings. His playing career clearly winding down, Ruth set his heart firmly on becoming the manager of the Yankees. After making his wishes known, they suggested he manage their Class AAA club in Newark to get some experience. With injured pride he refused.  After the 1934 season Ruth, somewhat sulking with an uncertain future, led a group of Americans on a tour of Japan. Upon his return, Ruth, the greatest star the game has ever known, was presented with a contract offer for $1 dollar by the franchise he had almost single-handedly built into a dynasty. The Yankees offer was a mere formality, enabling Ruth to refuse, and thus retire on his own recognizance. In 1935 the Braves came forward and offered Ruth what they described as a three-level position: player, assistant manager, and vice president. The last two were a sham. Boston was only trying to beef up their attendance by using the aging legend as a gate attraction. In spite of his rapidly diminishing skills, Ruth showed one last glimpse of his former greatness. On May 25, 1935, in Pittsburgh, Ruth homered in his first two trips to the plate, singled in his third appearance, and in the seventh inning hit a ball over the right field roof of Forbes Field. It was his final major league home run, and it was, typically, a monster shot. He played in only a handful of games after that for the Braves. The closest Babe Ruth ever came to realizing his managerial dream came three years later when he returned to New York as a coach with the Dodgers in 1938. Ruth’s hope was renewed briefly, as he proudly donned this Brooklyn uniform, hoping to parlay the position into something bigger. During his first and only return to Major League baseball after his official retirement in 1935, Ruth was a tremendous drawing card for the talent starved Dodgers, and the Brooklyn front office made sure he kept very high profile. Not only was Ruth appointed first base coach, (where the fans would be sure to see him throughout the entire game), but he was also ordered to take pre-game batting practice with the club so the fans could once again witness the “Sultan of Swat” hitting a few balls out of the park. In spite of the “side show” atmosphere, Ruth clung to hope. But when the club’s managerial post opened the next year Leo Durocher got it, and Ruth wasn’t rehired. He hung up his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform after one season. This would be the last baseball uniform he would ever wear as a professional. Ruth spent the next ten years of his life waiting for the call to become a manager, but it never came. Ruth’s last major league uniform, from his lone season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938, consists of his jersey, pants, and socks. The heavy white flannel Spalding jersey and pants each feature Ruth’s name in red chain stitch. Other significant features include the 1939 World’s Fair patch on the left sleeve of the jersey, and custom lacing affixed to the tail allowing Ruth to keep it neatly tucked into his pants. The royal blue matching socks are stitched with separate numbers “14” and “26”, differing from Ruth’s uniform number 35. Consistent wear is evident throughout, and many characteristics of the uniform can be matched to accompanying vintage photos of Ruth wearing it. It remains in its original state, unaltered since the day removed it for the last time, thus ending the greatest career in sports history. LOA: SCD Authentic (A 9.5).

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-06-10
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* Note that the price doesn’t correlate with today’s value, but only relates to the actual end price at the time of the purchase.

Toys & Collectable Items

Both the young and the young at heart will delight in the toys and collectables at auction here. There is a wide variety of dolls, doll's houses, toy cars, toy soldiers, robots and trains, representing the finest and most collectable makers. Vintage collectables such as film memorabilia can also be found in this section. Under this heading, we have also collected autographs of actors, artists, sportsmen, politicians amongst other popular collectables.

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