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Dempsey painting highlights EAC Gallery auction

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The May EAC Gallery auction boasts the largest assortment of sports items ever offered by the company in one auction. More than half of the 600-plus lots are sports items.

The sports item Larry Rosenbaum, president of EAC Gallery, is most excited about in the auction is a signed, original oil painting of Jack Dempsey. Dempsey personally commissioned this painting by artist and illustrator Erik H. Sederling in 1945. The painting is 43-by-62 inches, and features Dempsey in his favorite pose. Upon receiving the painting, Dempsey decided to share it with all his fans, and displayed it at the entrance of Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant in New York City.


It was on display there until the restaurant closed in 1974. When the painting was sold at auction in 1974, Dempsey signed it for the winning bidder. Dempsey's signature on the painting is 18 inches long, and is accompanied by certification from PSA/DNA. With the frame, the overall size of the item is 52-by-71 inches.

The Dempsey signed boxing oil painting may be the most prominent sports item in the auction, but baseball lots are plentiful. The Joe DiMaggio home run ball from Game 4 of the 1951 World Series at the Polo Grounds leads the way. This home run was the last one DiMaggio hit in his career. The ball is signed by DiMaggio, and includes the inscription "October 1951 to Ronnie & Gary."

The ball was originally caught by Irving Stein and is accompanied by a signed letter from Stein, dated Oct. 24, 1951. The letter details the ball, and the gifting of it to Ronnie and Gary Pred. Also included is the ball's original addressed and postmarked packaging, the two original ticket stubs, which correspond to the location of DiMaggio's home run.


This DiMaggio game-used ball also has provenance from Hunt Auctions, Inc.

Another Yankees item is a rare, vintage, Sept. 1, 1925, Yankees payroll check payable to and signed by "Earl B. Combs" on the back. The front of the check is also signed "Jacob Ruppert" as president and "E.G. Barrow" as secretary. The check is custom framed and matted with a portrait photo of Combs. Overall size of the item is 13-1/2-by-19-1/2 inches. This check is from 1925, which was Combs' rookie season, making this one of his few documented rookie autographs to reach the marketplace. The check is accompanied by certification from PSA/DNA.

There is a plethora of signed baseballs available in the auction, including: a Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig signed Barnard AL ball, a Ty Cobb signed AL ball, a Honus Wagner ball, a Edd Roush signed Feeney NL ball, a Carl Hubbell signed Feeney NL ball, a Bill Dickey signed MacPhail AL ball, as well as several signed baseballs from Mickey Mantle, DiMaggio and Ted Williams.

In addition, there are several team-signed baseballs, including: the 1928 Philadelphia Athletics, the 1930 Cubs, the 1934 Cubs, the 1940s New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1952 Dodgers, the 1958 Phillies, the 1960s Yankees, the 1965 Mets, the 1968 Cardinals; the 1968 Orioles, the 1970 Reds, the 1975 Mets and the 1976 Pirates.

Other highlighted baseball items include: a DiMaggio-signed original oil painting by Leon Wolf, a Mantle-signed original painting by Wolf, a Cal Ripken Jr. limited-edition signed bat, a Pete Rose signed bat, a Johnny Mize signed bat, an Al Kaline signed bat, a Johnny Bench signed bat, a Reggie Jackson signed bat, a Joe Pepitone signed 16-by-20-inch photo, and a World Series MVPs signed, limited-edition giclee.

This is the first auction conducted by EAC Gallery that includes items obtained via the Sell and Consign Program started by EAC Gallery and University Archives in late 2006. According to Larry Rosenbaum, president of EAC Gallery, that played a big role in how well-rounded this auction is.

"This is the first auction with property from our new Sell & Consign Program and I think that's a big part of the reason we have the collection we have," said Rosenbaum. "Not just in sports, but throughout all categories, it has gotten an incredible response. A lot of the material in this auction is here because of that program."

One of the largest golf collections is featured in the auction. According to Rosenbaum, this golf collection may never have made it to the market without the Sell & Consign Program.

The golf lots include items from Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, and others.

As with all EAC Gallery auctions, autographed items from historical figures throughout America's history are plentiful. This auction is no exception.
Leading the way is an Abraham Lincoln autographed letter signed as President. Not far behind is a King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I manuscript document, signed, that is 500-plus years old.

Other highlighted historical items include: an Albert Einstein typed and signed letter; a Beatles signed album cover, their first LP released in the UK, and signed in 1963; and a Supreme Court justices 14-by-11-inch signed photo of the Berger Court.

Many of the items from this auction are previewed in an advertisement on pages 16 and 17. For more information about this auction, visit Bidding ends on May 3.