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    Mid-1930's Frank Finnigan Game Worn Jersey. The oldest living NHL player at the time of his death at age ninety-one in 1991, Finnigan had been a member of the Stanley Cup Champion 1927 Ottawa Senators and 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs, and a participant in the Ace Bailey Benefit Game of 1934, considered the NHL's first All-Star contest. The historic ownership of the offered sweater only paints half the picture, however, as this remarkable artifact likewise holds the distinction of being the earliest Maple Leafs jersey ever presented at public auction. While jerseys from the 1940's have occasionally made their way into the hobby, representations from the first great Leafs teams are all but impossible to locate. This jersey, dating from Finnigan's second tour of duty in Toronto between 1934 and 1937, may well be the last surviving example of this nearly extinct species.

    Given the monumental rarity, we can make no apologies for the far less than perfect condition in which the piece finds itself. The wool body of the sweater is peppered with holes varying in size from pebbles to closed fists, and rust stains are likewise present throughout. The gorgeous and all-important felt logo patch on the chest is mercifully spared the brunt of these faults, however, and our catalog imagery should accurately attest that the sweater is still a looker despite the noted flaws. Finnigan's number "12" remains firmly affixed to verso in blue felt, and the important "Monarch Knit All Wool" manufacturer's label stands firm at interior front tail. As quite possibly the oldest surviving jersey of one of North American sports' most noteworthy professional franchises, the importance and desirability of the offered lot is impossible to overstate. A piece of which only the most cultured and comprehensive private collections are worthy.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2009
    23rd-24th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,033

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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