Professional golf, football and boxing are sports that can trace their beginnings back hundreds of years, providing them with a degree of historical gravitas. Two sharply contrasting Bonhams auctions at the end of September highlight this: one a celebration of once-great boxing champions, the other a general sale with a focus on golf and football.
The second sale takes place on September 29th in (where else?) Las Vegas, as Hublot and the World Boxing Council (WBC) combine in an auction of one-off wristwatches that celebrate 12 of the greatest fighters ever to step into a boxing ring. The auction will be attended by Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Jeff French, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Ken Norton, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Durán, Azumah Nelson, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya and George Foreman – all of whom feature on unique 19-carat watches created by Swiss watchmakers Hublot. Each watch is expected to fetch around USD 100,000 dollars for the WBC charity initiative.
Three days earlier, on September 26th in the UK, Bonhams’ sporting sale will also feature a number of boxing memorabilia, notably a pair of Mike Tyson training gloves (around GBP 1,000) and an original poster (GBP 2,000) advertising the legendary Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier ‘first fight’ from 1971.
This sale, though, is more about football and golf, with the former highlighting some of the oddities that will catch the attention of avid collectors. Take, for example, the GBP 15,000 pre-sale estimate for the registration plate from the former Arsenal Football Club coach. More genuine historical interest is provided with a Victorian-era ceremonial axe from 1897 linked to West Ham United (around GBP 8,000) and the early days of this now Premier League club.
But with the Ryder Cup just a week away, the real highlights could be a first edition of A Keen’s 1857 The Golfer’s Manual (GBP 5,000) and the original 1933 and 1937 Ryder Cup sub-committee minutes (GBP 4,000) – both are modest-looking publications, but very much historical pieces.
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