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Heritage Sports Collectibles 

Signature Sports Auction #703

October 29th 2005


Catalog Cover





Heritage Sports Collectibles

Chris Ivy, Director
3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor
Dallas, Texas 75219-3941
1-800-872-6467 / (214) 528-3500


Did you know?

Heritage's first Signature Auction was held in August 1976





Heritage Sports Collectibles 

Signature Sports Auction #703

October 29th 2005





Internet bidding closes at 10pm CT 

the evening before the auction 

session begins







Floor Sessions

Session 1 

Lots 19001-19369

2:00 pm Dallas, TX time, 

Saturday, October 29, 2005.

Session 2 

Lots 19370-19797 

6:00 pm Dallas, TX time, 

Saturday, October 29, 2005.




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Preview Commentary


Carlton Hendricks 



Wow, great  auction! There are a ton of excellent display pieces. I'll give my top three picks here, plus some. But it's only the tip of the iceberg, because there are just so many great things. My number one pick in this auction is: Lot 19115 a c1928 die-cut stand up Spalding advertising sign featuring Paul Waner sliding into base. 



What a piece! I don't recall ever seeing it before, although the catalog says it came from the Barry Halper collection. 


The size is what puts it over the top, 42 inches tall by 29 inches wide (framed 48" x 35") Three foot tall would be considered big, 42" inches is exceptional for a die-cut stand up, but then when you factor in the great graphics! Then the fact it's Spalding, king of sports equipment. To top it all off it's a hall of famer, Waner! 


The condition seems to be pretty good. The catalog copy states, Quote: "A repaired separation crosses horizontally the catcher's image, with some minor restoration." Unquote. 


The only other negative thing I see in the catalog description is that it states the sign has been mounted on corrugated cardboard, Quote: "Miraculously saved from a 1920's sporting goods store, the large piece (29x42") has since been mounted professionally on corrugated cardboard." Unquote. As far as a scientific approach to conservation, mounting it on corrugated cardboard is definitely not something I'd recommend. But, based on what it is, and that it was good enough for the Barry Halper collection, I guess the next generation can worry about that LOL.


One technical word of advice I'll mention, when you access the web page to see the piece on the Heritage site, be sure to use the enlargement feature in the bottom left corner of the photo. The initial photo displayed, at least on my monitor,  is reduced , I suppose so you can see the whole sign. However the beauty and detail of the sign is also reduced until you enlarge it. I'm not that crazy about the way it's all set up. I prefer the way my photos are set up on my site. The photo in the hard copy catalog is too small too. The actual image of the sign in the hard copy catalog is only 3 13/16 inch tall. It should have gotten a whole page, if not the cover. 


The last thing I'll mention is it's framed. Usually the first thing I do with framed die-cut signs is pull them out of the frame and display them standing up as they were intended. That's the way they were seen in their era, in the sporting goods stores. To me seeing them displayed in all their glory is part of their charm, and you experience their full impact. Of course you can't argue with the fact they're much better protected in a frame. And this one's so big I could understand leaving it that way. 



SportsAntiques101's next favorite lot would be another di-cut stand up sign, Lot 19543, a 1920's Stall and Dean advertising display featuring Ty Cobb,  in an action pose reaching high for a ball,15 3/4" tall by 10 inches wide. The catalog description advises another example of this sign sold in the Halper auction for $19,550.00. It also points out a true and interesting fact that Cobb 1886-1961, was an advertising risk. Quote: The Peach's rather controversial nature made him a bit of a gamble for product endorsement, so it is quite rare to see Mr. Cobb working solo on an advertising piece despite his tremendous talents. Unquote. From everything I've read he was definitely a piece of work. How many people do you know that get into a fight with their utility company over their bill, refuse to pay it, and end up living with the power shut off in an affluent neighborhood. Like he did in Palo Alto California when he was retired? And how about spiking all those players the way he did when he slid into base? 


Back to the sign, he is a hall of famer (elected 1936) and whether you like him or not it is an important baseball artifact. It's not as big as the Waner Spalding piece, and not as colorful, but it's still great. $19,550.00 worth of great...on that other one anyway!



And my third pick is that incredible Shibe baseball box. Lot 19524, 1880's J.D. Shibe Base Balls Box , 5 1/2 inches tall by 5 1/2inches wide by 8 1/2 inches deep. wow what a beauty! And the condition is remarkable. Especially for being from the 1880's! The catalog description is educational and informative. It relates among other things  that a dozen contemporary baseballs couldn't fit into it, as it's label informs, Quote: The historical significance of this box cannot be overstated, as it was Shibe that developed the machinery than made mass production of baseballs a possibility. It is also worth noting that a dozen standard sized baseballs could not possibly be held within this box, leading to the undeniable conclusion that the balls held within were the smaller sized specimens associated with the very earliest days of our National Pastime. Unquote. 


Shibe Park in Philadelphia, later renamed Connie Mack Stadium, opened April 12, 1909 and was demolished in 1976. The Shibe it was named for was a Benjamin Shibe, no doubt some relation to the J.D. Shibe that produced these balls, and whose  portrait is featured on the box's label.



There's just so much great stuff I have to mention a few more highlights, even though they weren't in the top three. Lot 19001, 1881 Harry Wright Personal Scorebook with Multiple Signatures . This is the first lot in the catalog, patriarchal! There are two occupational shaving mugs with baseball motifs. One in an auction would be significant, but there's two! Lot 19523, and Lot 19533, This second one is believed to have been owned by a Dode Paskert who played professional baseball from 1907-1921 for the Reds, Cubs, and Phillies. Lot 19528 , a c1880 Victorian porcelain baseball statue by Heubach deserves mention. This is one of the larger  harder to find 14" versions. Lot 19522 is the rare and desirable 19th century silk baseball Stevengraph. One last mention before we go to the boxing items, as this is quite special. Lot 19369, a Jesse Owens Signed Track Shoe. This one proves you never know what you'll see in the sports collecting world. Great piece!



I'm taken back by the amount and overall quality of the boxing items. That 

Circa 1810 Molineux vs. Cribb Boxing Pitcher Lot 19330. Wow, that's what you call advanced! And great looking! Then below that in the catalog, the 1860's ''Champion Tobacco'' Box with John Heenan Lot 19331, man, talk about great, and the condition! Then that 1880's Jake Kilrain vs. Jem Smith ''Woolie'' Lot 19335, outstanding folk art, very strong! And of course to see my opinion of Lot 19334, the Gail and Ax Sullivan poster, all you have to do is scroll to the story I wrote on it a long time ago that's posted on both sides of this page! 


Wrapping up this preview, I hate to end on a sour note, but I'm bothered by those two trophies, Lot 19340, the so called "1894 James J. Corbett Championship Trophy", and Lot 19341, listed as "1896 John L. Sullivan Presentational Trophy Cup". I guess the foremost problem I have is that the engraving on each appears a little similar. For instance both names happen to be in longhand, The style of font Corbett's name is done in reminds me a little of the 50's diner one I have on my computer. Another thing is each trophy has a comma after the day of the month. It's interesting at least one of them, isn't spelled out, as I've often seen in antique trophies. Something more distinguished like "JANUARY TWENTY FOURTH EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY FOUR" would have been more typical of a trophy awarded to a world champion.


To me, the wide lettering of Sullivan's name looks a little amateurish and desperate. I hope these didn't both come out of the Sacramento California area. There's a guy I've seen for years around northern California that sells engraved antique trophies that make me cringe. Some are quite elaborate and I'm becoming increasingly concerned. 


Both trophies were awarded by athletic clubs, which in fairness I suppose would be possible. That seems like too many similarities though. Especially for supposedly being produced four years apart by separate firms in separate cities.


Nineteenth century trophies, their engraving particularly, generally have an unmistakable ornateness these don't have. I would expect a much nicer trophy to have been given Corbett for the World's Heavyweight Championship. The catalog doesn't say if the Corbett one is sterling. Hopefully the catalog writer felt that went without being said. Because that could be the kiss of death for me, if it were silver plate. Usually the more important the event or achievement, the more ornate the trophy and it's engraving are.


You should understand there are two basic type trophies. Presentation pieces made of sterling silver, and stock mass produced trophies, usually of silver plate. Presentation pieces are unique one of a kind works of art, typically commissioned by monied aristocrats for yachting and other formidable events. During the late 19th and early 20th century in America, Gorham, Reed and Barton, and Tiffany's competed for such commissions.  The Corbett trophy doesn't appear to be of presentation silver caliber, and has a stock trophy look. Presentation silver would have been far more appropriate an award for Heavyweight Championship of the World. In fairness, the only reason I can think of that a presentation silver piece would not have been used would be that boxing might not have been  respectable enough then. 


Further, to my eye, the design style of each of the trophies doesn't match their dates. The Sullivan one looks about 1900-1910. And the Corbett one looks to be from around the 1920's, and like something a fraternal lodge would have given to a small town baseball team. 


One nice thing about trophies is they can lend themselves well to research. Usually the event and date it took place is right on them. And the more important the trophy the more likely you can find documentation to research the event the trophy was awarded for. Many big libraries, particularly the university ones, have  newspapers dating back to the nineteenth century on microfilm for most of the larger American cities. I've researched trophies this way and it's exciting to find the first hand reports. Once I sold a trophy I paid $2.00 for back to the International Silver Company that made it, for $500.00 by researching it on microfilm. 


The point is, I'd like to see what was written in the newspapers about both these events to see if there is any reference to  the trophies. The catalog description of the Sullivan trophy states "Lost to history are the precise details of the circumstances surrounding the presentation of this awe-inspiring loving cup......" Other than that I don't see any mention for either trophy of written accounts from anyone stating where, when, or who they were obtained from. These are potentially very important artifacts, especially the Corbett one. Myself, if I were to drop bank on either, I'd like like to know more of their history. 


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There are 797 lots in this auction. The following 38 items are considered exceptional by SportsAntiques101.com

click highlighted lot numbers to see items



- NOTE -

 posted closing prices below

include 19.5% buyers premium

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Lot Number



closed at



 c1928 die-cut stand up Spalding advertising sign featuring Paul Waner sliding into base. 


closed at



 a 1920's Stall and Dean advertising display featuring Ty Cobb


closed at $2,868.00

 1880's J.D. Shibe 

Base Balls Box 


closed at $5,676.25

 1881 Harry Wright Personal Scorebook with Multiple Signatures


closed at $1,434.00

Baseball occupational 

shaving mug featuring Dode Paskert


closed at $956.00

Baseball occupational 

shaving mug with batter at plate


closed at $1,792.50 

c1880 Victorian porcelain baseball statue by Heubach


closed at $507.88 

 Rare and desirable 19th century silk baseball Stevengraph


closed at $11,352.50

1933 Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig Signed Baseball 


closed at $507.88

1910 Philadelphia Athletics Oversized Presentational Print from Frank ''Home Run'' Baker Collection 


closed at $3,107.00

Circa 1910 Brooklyn Superbas Celluloid Mirror 


closed at $3,585.00

Enormous 1914 Boston Braves World Champions Pennant 


closed at $1,493.75

Circa 1909 Forbes Field Stadium Seat 


closed at $1,912.00

The Ultimate Yankee 

Stadium Seat 


closed at $448.13 

1930's House of David 

Baseball Broadside 


closed at $29,875.00

The Earliest Known Mickey Mantle Batting Trophy 


closed at $418.25

1948 Babe Ruth Wristwatch & Baseball Packaging 


closed at $11,352.50

Massive 1926 World Series Panoramic Photograph Dating from Babe Ruth's Greatest Game 


closed at $22,705.00

Magnificent 1913 World's Series Newsreel Large Poster from the Casey Stengel Collection 


closed at $1,254.75

1927 Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig Wire Photo, with baby, from the Casey Stengel Collection 


closed at $44,812.50

1924 Muddy Ruel Game Worn Tour of Europe Uniform from the Herold ''Muddy'' Ruel Collection 


closed at $20,315.00

1924 Muddy Ruel Game Worn Tour of Europe Sweater from the Herold ''Muddy'' Ruel Collection 

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Lot Number



closed at $4,481.25

Circa 1810 Molineux vs. Cribb Boxing Pitcher 


closed at $1,673.00 

1860's ''Champion Tobacco'' Box with John Heenan 


closed at $3,107.00

1880's Jake Kilrain vs. Jem Smith ''Woolie'' 


closed at $2,390.00

Gail and Ax  tobacco poster featuring John L. Sullivan 


closed at $13,145.00

1880's John L. Sullivan Fight Worn Boxing Belt & Sash 


closed at $2,270.50

1884 Jack Dempsey (Non Pareil) vs. George Fulljames ''Champion'' Belt Buckle 


closed at $2,629.00

 1888 Jem Mace Presentational Boxing Belt Buckle 


closed at $2,748.50

Circa 1908 John L. Sullivan Signed Oversized Cabinet Photograph 


closed at $507.88

Circa 1892 James J. Corbett Imperial Cabinet Photograph 


closed at $1,434.00

1935 Baer vs. Braddock Film Reel Movie Poster 


closed at $448.13

1936 Louis vs. Baer Bout Newsreel Poster 


closed at $478.00

1936 Louis vs. Schmeling Bout Newsreel Poster 

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Other Sports 



Lot Number



closed at $836.50

Jesse Owens Signed 

Track Shoe


closed at $478.00

Circa 1840's Hand painted Rowing Porcelain Cup 


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