The Original Image Used for Lou Gehrig’s 1933 Goudey Cards

When Mastro Auctions sold the following Lou Gehrig new-service photograph in May 2008, they described it as being from the 1930s.

They described it as a 6-1/2″ x 9-1/8″ photo of the Yankee great in pinstripes with a look of “fierce determination” and described the card as the model for cards #’s 92 and 160 in the vaunted 1933 Goudey set; here are a pair of examples from Robert Edward Auctions.

Mastro Auctions wrote that the image was in EX condition with good image clarity and contrast. They mentioned, but didn’t show, that the reverse had handwritten editorial notations accompanying a copyright stamp for the esteemed Underwood & Underwood photography studio.

I found some more information from Heritage Auctions’ sale of the following Gehrig Original Photo.

They titled the lot a “1927 Lou Gehrig Original Photograph by Charles Conlon” and wrote that it’s a “Splendid and important image from Gehrig’s 1927 MVP and championship season was used for the Iron Horse’s 1933 Goudey cards #92 and #160. Taken by legendary baseball photographer Charles Conlon for Underwood & Underwood. Measures 7×9.” It sold for $60k in May 2017.

The image dating to 1927 doesn’t mean the Mastro copy isn’t from the 1930s; I believe Underwood & Underwood operated through the 1940s and likely reproduced many of their images. But please let me know if this is an incorrect assumption.

During the auction, Heritage provided this update: “Please note that this is a photo that came directly from the Underwood & Underwood archives and therefore has the original embossed “Do Not Remove, File Copy” raised blindstamp, which can be seen on the front of the photo in two locations.”

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