The June 6, 1944 photograph by Robert Sargent of soldiers leaving their landing craft on D-Day and rushing fearlessly up Omaha Beach is one of the most iconic of WWII and frankly one of the most powerful photographs in American history. "Jaws of Death" is coveted by collectors and investors alike with even rough examples selling for over $30,000 in the market today. What is lesser known about Sargent is that he took another photograph just minutes before the famous "Jaws of Death" which showed these same soldiers, huddled together for warmth and companionship and with plastic bags over their rifles to prevent their weapons from getting wet, getting themselves ready to do their duty on D-Day. A powerful work of art, this is the only example of this photograph we have ever seen in original form in over twenty years of selling vintage photography. We have never seen one in a major auction in person, online, in a gallery, or anywhere else. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only vintage example to ever be offered publicly! The photograph exhibits crystal clarity and remains here in fantastic condition with just the tiniest hint of wear at the corners from news-room use. There is an incredibly important date stamp on the back from NEA which firmly places this to 1944 and in fact, is file stamped copy is dated exactly one week after D-Day, meaning it was developed in Europe on the front lines among the first ever crop of photographs Sargent developed, and then sent by the US Coast Guard to NEA. It is impossible to think an earlier example of this, or any Sargent D-Day photo, exists in the hobby as the battle for France was just advancing past the beaches when this photo hit the Cleveland based archive! There are stamps on the back from the Public Relations Department of the U.S. Coast Guard as well as a caption describing the action for eager readers in America. A powerful work of history that is being offered here for the first time ever, this is legitimately one of the most important photographs we have ever discovered and brought to the market!
Designation: Vintage 1
Overall Grade: 9.5/10