Description1931 U.S. Open Championship Trophy Awarded to Ellsworth Vines. One of the most significant tennis awards ever made available to the collecting community, this gorgeous intersection of sporting achievement and master craftsmanship was the treasure at the end of the rainbow for the lanky legend Vines upon his come-from-behind defeat of International Tennis Hall of Famer George Lott in the fifty-first playing of the U.S. Open. In a thrilling, tightly-contested final, only the second set failed to require extra frames, concluding with a Vines victory of 7-9, 6-3, 9-7, 7-5.
The double-armed cup is artfully engraved with the details of the victory, announcing "U.S.L.T.A., Lawn Tennis Championship of the United States, Mens Singles, West Side Tennis Club, 1931, Winner, H. Ellsworth Vines Jr." Underside of the base is stamped "Gorham Inc., 7661, Sterling 9 1/2 inches," the measurement relating to the height of the gleaming prize. The passing eight decades have been gentle to the trophy cup, leaving it absolutely unchanged from its state of condition as it was presented to the Champion at Forest Hills' West Side Country Club.
The anchor piece of the incredible Ellsworth Vines Collection presented within this auction, the trophy makes its hobby debut in this Signature auction, consigned by the son of this leading figure of both the court and the links. It is the first pre-war U.S. Open trophy to appear on the auction block since Vines' close friend Fred Perry's personal model garnered over sixty thousand dollars two decades ago.
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.
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