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A year of dominance by the young phenom

1931 Ellsworth Vines Victory Gold Medals Including US Open Championship. In this early year of the Great Depression, there was no force on the courts that could match that of Vines, lauded during this time by the iconic Bill Tilden as the greatest player he'd ever seen. This listing rather convincingly supports the contention, an eye-popping display of eight gold Championship medals orbiting a ninth which was issued to Vines for his come-from-behind victory over George Lott in the fiftieth playing of the U.S. National Championships, known today as the U.S. Open. This medal features a winged victory figure over crossed tennis racquets on obverse, with text announcing "U.S. Lawn Tennis Association Golden Jubilee 1881-1931." Verso is ringed in laurel and reads, "Winner of National Championship, Golden Jubilee, Men's Singles 1931, H.E. Vines, Jr."

The other eight medals are of identical design on the obverse, with text stating, "United States Lawn Tennis Association Anniversary Medal, Golden Jubilee 1881-1931." Imagery features an eagle, a patriotic shield, laurel branches and crossed racquets. Verso holds raised lettering announcing, "Winner, Championship 1931." The medals differ only in the engraved lettering, as follows:

1) Ellsworth Vines, Jr., Singles, Newport Casino.
2) Meadow Club Invitation, Doubles, H. Ellsworth Vines, Jr., Keith Gledhill.
3) Ellsworth Vines, Jr., Doubles, Newport Casino.
4) National Clay Court Doubles.
5) National Clay Court Singles.
6) Meadow Club Invitation, Mixed Doubles, Frances Weeks, H. Ellsworth Vines, Jr.
7 & 8) Unengraved.

The medals each show a degree of handling/storage wear, though the overall effect is minimal, as should be apparent in our catalog imagery. The medals are attractively displayed in a blue felt mount that measures approximately nineteen inches square.

The Ellsworth Vines Collection

The greatest figure of Depression-era tennis, the lanky but heavy-hitting Vines was assigned the title of "greatest tennis player ever" by none other than the legendary Bill Tilden, who makes the assertion in a signed photograph offered as part of the remarkable collection to follow. In four separate tennis seasons of the 1930's, Vines was ranked number one, either alone or jointly, and the tangible evidence of that dominance appears in these pages. The collection comes to us from Vines' son, Ellsworth Vines III, and makes its hobby debut in this auction. Each lot will be accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from the son of this superior athlete.

Service and Handling Description: Miscellaneous Collectibles, Large (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
May, 2013
2nd-4th Thursday-Saturday
Internet/Mail Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 487

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