The Amazing Music Auction (Vol. VI) - Auction Closes Saturday, Feb. 10th
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/11/2024

The Iconic San Quentin Middle Finger Photo - The First Authentic Example Ever Offered to the Public!

Impeccable Signature Graded GEM MINT 10 by Beckett/BAS!

It’s one of the most recognized, revered and reproduced images in rock ‘n’ roll photography: alt-country hero Johnny Cash, just before performing at San Quentin Prison, gives a vicious middle finger to music photographer Jim Marshall. According to Marshall, the magical image came about when he simply asked Cash to pose for a photo for the warden. Channeling the collective energy of the room, Cash responded accordingly, and a legendary image was born.

In terms of popularity, the image is right up there with classic portraits of Che Guevara and Bob Marley — it’s a staple of college dorm rooms everywhere. The photo itself has achieved iconic status since it was snapped in 1969.

While revered and hailed as one of his most defining images, Johnny Cash was a kind and personable man who didn't want a vulgarity to be a defining part of his legacy. To that point, while Cash was an accomodating signer, who virtually refused to sign this image anytime he was asked to do so. Johnny hesitantly signed approximately 5 copies of this image for a personal friend in the 1990s who swore to not sell them to the public (and has kept their word), and to date this is the only signed example we've ever seen be brought forth for public sale.

This particular 8" x 10" glossy print was signed by Johnny in the early 1990s while Cash was playing the House of Blues in Chicago, IL. According to the collector who acquired the signature, he spotted Cash at sound check and took up conversation with him for a few minutes. After getting on friendly terms with Cash, the collector revealed the photo. Cash swiftly asked the collector if they had any other photos for him to sign, and when the collector said no, Cash hesitantly accomodated the request as to not disappoint him. A result perhaps of sheer luck or circumstance, the collector came away with arguably the most coveted signed photograph in Cash history.

Beautifully executed in blue felt tip marker, the photo is well preserved and is in excellent condition. The signature has been graded a GEM MINT 10 and has been authenticated and fully encapsulated by Beckett Authentication Services (BAS).

Johnny Cash Amazingly Rare & Desirable Signed San Quentin Middle Finger Photo - Only Authentic Example Ever Offered for Sale! (Beckett/BAS GEM MINT 10 Autograph)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,439.08
Number Bids:17
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