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One of just a handful of Johnson signed gloves known to exist

1930's Jack Johnson Signed Boxing Glove. While Jackie Robinson endured no shortage of taunts and threats in his brave segregation of Major League Baseball, never in American sporting history has an athlete faced the level of racist vitriol leveled at this first African-American Heavyweight Champion. Johnson's dominance of the prize ring infuriated the white population, but his romances with white women was gasoline on the fire of that antipathy, resulting in the Champion's expatriation and subsequent imprisonment upon his return to the States. Johnson contended, and many historians agree, that his loss of the belt in 1915 to Jess Willard was yet another symptom of the ugly and protracted campaign against him, a dive for a cash reward and, more importantly, passage back to the U.S.

A consequence of Johnson's lack of popularity in white America, and his relatively early death by automobile accident in 1946, is a challenging lack of autographs for the modern collectibles market. Nowhere is this more evident than in the subgenre of signed boxing gloves, of which only two or three are known to exist. Here we present what is almost assuredly the finest of that rare breed, a "Ken-Wel Brand" left hand glove neatly inscribed in 8/10 black fountain pen ink, "Jack Johnson, Former Heavyweight Champion of the World, U.S.A."

The glove itself has survived the passage of decades admirably, its red leather remaining soft and supple without any of the cracking or peeling endemic to other period examples. Use by Johnson himself is uncertain but unlikely, considering the post-career inscription. LOA from Craig Hamilton, J.O. Sports.


Service and Handling Description: Clothing, Costumes & Jerseys (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
August, 2013
1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,525

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Another major house refused the work stating it was too unique for the artist. Heritage saw that as an advantage!
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Naples, FL
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