WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. – Jackie Robinson led off first, rounded the bases and crossed home plate triumphantly on Dec. 5 as his 1951 game-used home jersey scored $341,779 (inclusive of 20 percent buyer’s premium) in Grey Flannel’s 891-lot Holiday Auction.
Carrying impeccable provenance and entered in the sale with a $50,000 reserve, the Brooklyn Dodgers flannel jersey featured Robinson’s number 42 on the back, the team name on the front and the chain-stitched name J. Robinson inside its collar.
1951 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers game-used home jersey, $341,779.
Good results were achieved by player memorabilia from all across the professional sports realm. A 1972/3 Wilt Chamberlain game-used Los Angeles Lakers home jersey realized $27,584, while an early 1970s Bobby Orr game-used Boston Bruins (hockey) road jersey followed closely behind at $25,410.
Inextricably associated with recent negative headlines and a felony conviction, former Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick’s game-used and autographed road uniform in Grey Flannel’s auction may be the last NFL gear Vick will ever wear. Listed in the sale with a $2,500 reserve, it closed at $3,000.
Boxing was represented by a coin-operated amusement from the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair – an International Mutoscope Co. Silver Gloves arcade game. Made in 1948, the upright novelty consisted of two 2-inch “heavyweight” boxing figures pitted against each other in a realistic-looking ring. For 10 cents, a player could manipulate the levers and make his boxer punch at the opponent, knock him down and hopefully win the match. In Grey Flannel’s sale, the game attracted a top bid of $9,755 against a reserve of $500.
International Mutoscope Co. Silver Gloves boxing-theme arcade game from 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, $9,755.
Surely the most unusual lot auctioned was a 1920s-era bulletproof vest that came from the Florida home of notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. A “dress-style” dark wool vest that weighed a substantial 17 pounds, the garment sold to a crime museum for five times its reserve: $12,806.
Seventeen-pound bulletproof vest from gangster Al Capone’s Florida residence, $12,806.
As proof that the Marilyn Monroe mystique continues to fascinate, a lock of hair snipped by the platinum-blond film star’s hairdresser, Kenneth Battelle, was in great demand with bidders. It is known that Battelle – a celebrity stylist known simply as Kenneth – would save pieces of Monroe’s hair to give to his biggest clients. The lock offered at auction was mounted together with a picture of the actress and the number 005, signifying the New York Yankees player number of her then-husband, Joe DiMaggio. The keepsake was claimed for $3,354.
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