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    Description

    1743 Broughton's Rules of Boxing Broadside, One of Three Known. The most historically significant article of boxing memorabilia ever offered by Heritage Auction Galleries is arguably the most significant that could exist, as it represents the very first official rules of the sport. The seven distinct regulations were authored by Heavyweight Champion Jack Broughton upon the opening of his namesake sporting amphitheater in London, England, an attempt to implement safeguards against the increasing brutality and general lawlessness of pugilistic contests. It was a concern Broughton himself knew only too well, having inflicted fatal injuries upon his opponent George Stevenson in a 1741 bout.

    The rules dictate the definition of a knockout, first introduce protections for a downed opponent, and even codify the dispensation of prize purses. These doctrines would represent the standard of the sport until the publication of the Revised London Prize Ring rules of 1853, quickly replaced by the famous Queensberry Rules fourteen years later.

    Equal to the enormous historical relevance of the offering is the majestic early eighteenth century aesthetics of the piece, featuring five hand-colored images of gloved contests above the seven paragraphs of text. The broadside measures 15x20" in size and is constructed of a paper similar in weight and thickness to modern card stock. Several small tears meander inward from the broadside's edges, the longest approximately three inches at upper right, but these do not cause significant visual distraction, nor does the minimal degree of border soiling.

    The age and intense scarcity of the piece makes any quibbles about condition seem rather ludicrous anyhow. Only three examples of this immensely important broadside are known to survive to this day, with the other two specimens safely and permanently filed away in the collections of public institutions. Here we present the only privately held representation.


    Guide Value or Estimate: $20,000 - up.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,964

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