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    Description

    1910 Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Souvenir Boxing Pennant. Exceedingly rare pennant announces one of the most noteworthy matches in boxing history, as slumbering giant James Jeffries came out of retirement to face the Heavyweight Champ Jack Johnson, who had assumed the title with his 1908 victory over Tommy Burns at Sydney, Australia. Jeffries made no bones about the reasoning behind his return to the squared circle. "I feel obligated to the sporting public at least to make an effort to reclaim the Heavyweight Championship for the white race. I should step into the ring again and demonstrate that a white man is king of them all." Of course, things did not go as Jeffries had hoped, and in a surprising show of humility he admitted after the fight that he could not have defeated Johnson in his prime.

    The reaction to Johnson's victory was immediate and violent. Across the country white gangs descended upon celebratory gatherings of African-Americans, leaving twenty murdered in their wake. Films of the fight, expected to generate thousands in extra revenue for both fighters, were impounded at ringside. And a calculated campaign against Johnson, and his "Unforgivable Blackness," would begin, forcing the Heavyweight Champion into exile and, ultimately, the penitentiary. No black man would again be given an opportunity to compete for the Heavyweight title until 1937, when Joe Louis claimed the belt.

    We believe this to be the only example of this magnificent pennant style to appear upon the hobby's major auction block, at least in the past fifteen years. Almost certainly, it was purchased at the fight, from a souvenir stand constructed under the merciless desert sun. Both boxers are pictured in a central image affixed to the pennant's surface, which bears further printed text reporting the date and location of the historic bout. Only a couple small areas of loss along the right edge and some creasing and foxing of the circular center design must be reported, leaving the rare relic in remarkably fine condition considering its advanced age. Length is 25.5", not including tassels. Framed to a museum-quality 23x37".


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 635

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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