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    Description

    1934 Lou Gehrig Tour of Japan Kimono from The Imperial Hotel. Over three quarters of a century later, the 1934 Tour of Japan continues to fascinate collectors and baseball historians, and with good reason. The cast of characters reads like a who's who of baseball royalty, with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane, and Connie Mack just a few of the names on the trans-Pacific manifest. And who could forget Morris "Moe" Berg, a catcher of dubious talent but enormous intellect and linguistic aptitude, whose participation on such an All-Star team was a mystery to all but the Office of Strategic Services which had sent him to Japan as an undercover spy?

    We believe this to be the third kimono from Tokyo's Imperial Hotel to surface in the collecting market, the others having belonged to fellow Tourists Bing Miller and Eric McNair. Clearly the offered representation, having been the personal possession of the great Lou Gehrig, survives as the most important of the three. Our research indicates that the Imperial Hotel was the site of a Gala Dinner Dance on November 3, 1934, to honor the visiting team, and one must assume that the robes were presented at this occasion. Crafted from red, black, and white silk, the high-quality Japanese robe presents wonderfully despite a degree of expected soiling inflicted over the decades of storage.

    An included 1982 letter of provenance explains that the kimono had been left behind at an apartment building vacated by Gehrig's brother-in-law, and recovered by a friend of that family who resided at the same address. The letter notes that the new owner had attempted to return the kimono to Gehrig's widow, unsuccessfully.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,206

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