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Lot # 25 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Joe DiMaggio 1936 SF Seals Home and Road Uniform Quilt

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $6,960.00

On April 4th, 1974 Herb Caen's column in the San Francisco Chronicle reported the following: "IS THIS NOT baseball season? All right then: in the window of the Custom Nook Knitting & Crochet Shop at 3985 24th St., reports Marc Brenman excitedly, is a quilt made from Joe DiMaggio's 1936 San Francisco Seals uniforms, both home and road! The pricetag is $100, but Owner Mary Fields, whose husband's granny was a great friend of Joe's mom and obtained the unis from her, has little hope of selling it: "Most of this neighborhood is young kids who can't afford it and never heard of the Seals anyway." Presented in this lot is the quilt, measuring 63 x 76 inches, and beautifully constructed from Joe DiMaggio's 1936 San Francisco Seals home and away uniforms. The quilt is accompanied by the original bill of sale, dated "4-4-74" and made out to "Mrs. Reidy" in the amount of $100 plus $6.50 tax. It is also accompanied by an original clipping of Herb Caen's column, as well as the envelope in which the clipping and original sales receipt have been stored all these years (which is labeled "Joe DiMaggio Quilt"). This is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating and incredible items of any kind, let alone relating to Joe DiMaggio, that we have ever seen or had the privilege to offer. We have asked our consignor, whose mother, Mrs. Reidy, purchased the quilt in 1974, to write a detailed account of the history of the quilt. She has graciously agreed, and has provided the following account: "On the morning of April 4, 1974, my mother began her day like any other. She was dressed and out the door by 8:15 a.m., on her way to work as a contract postal employee. Half running in the hope that she wouldn't miss her bus, she stopped in her tracks when a handwritten sign in the window of the Custom Knitting & Crochet Shop on 24th Street caught her attention: FOR SALE: QUILT - Handmade from Joe DiMaggio's San Francisco Seals Uniforms. For Madeline Chiodo-Reidy, an Italian-American baseball fanatic and lifelong devotee of Joe DiMaggio, this was a moment to behold. My mother was eight years old the first time she saw Joe DiMaggio play baseball. Tagging along with her two older brothers, they watched excitedly from the bleacher seats at Seals Stadium. Over the next five years, she witnessed her hero slug his way from the Minors to the Majors, earning a place in baseball history and in her heart. Now, on this day in April, some forty years later, in the front window of a neighborhood shop, hung a quilt made from the very uniforms that once adorned the slender, athletic figure of her childhood hero and legendary baseball great, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio. Without a moment to spare, she headed for the nearest phone booth, called her employer, and explained that she'd be late for work. She then summoned my sister, who had just cashed her first paycheck, to meet her at the shop with a hundred dollars because she didn't want my father to know that she was about to spend an "exorbitant" amount of money. Cash in hand, she waited in the doorway, intent on being the first customer of the day. At 10:00 a.m. the Knitting Shop opened its door. The owner, Mary Fields, was surprised to find not one, but two, women eager to do business. My mother anxiously stated that she wanted to purchase the DiMaggio quilt for $100.00. The second woman, who had arrived only moments earlier, also expressed her desire to purchase the quilt and immediately offered $300.00. Mary Fields was taken aback, having been certain, as quoted that morning in Herb Caen's column in the San Francisco Chronicle, that she had "little hope of selling it." Finally, after a bit of haggling, Mary Fields decided the only fair thing to do was to sell it to my mother for the original asking price of $100.00. Now, clutching her "DiMaggio Quilt" in her arms, my mother headed home and placed it safely in her hope chest. That evening, we all gathered round as her brothers with whom she had shared many baseball games at Seals Stadium came to view the quilt. Within 24 hours, offers had poured in from as far away as New York City, for up to $1,500.00. Mary Fields called my mother at the insistence of one avid collector, asking if she might be interested in selling the quilt for fifteen times more than she'd paid for it. However, for my mother, it wasn't even a consideration. For her, the quilt was priceless. No amount of money could match the pride that she felt, holding this piece of history in her hands. And nothing was more valuable than the precious memories of those years spent at Seals Stadium cheering for her hero, Joe DiMaggio." - Sandra M. Reidy, San Francisco, February 10, 2005. In addition to the original purchase receipt and clipping, the quilt is also accompanied by a copy from microfilm of Herb Caen's entire April 4th, 1974 column. This is an amazing Joe DiMaggio relic, which tells an extraordinary story. The quilt is ideal for display, extremely well made, and a simply masterful example of the art. It is in Excellent condition. The Joe DiMaggio Seals uniforms used to make this quilt would be worth literally hundreds of thousands of dollars if they were intact. Of course, they are not. They have been cut up into small sections and sewn together in the making of the quilt. We could not even begin to provide an estimated value on this unusual item, and there is no right answer, but whatever the market decides, this will remain one of the most enjoyable and fascinating items, accompanied by one of the best stories, that we have ever had the privilege to present! Please Note: We believe that the 1936 dating of the uniforms in the 1974 San Francisco Chronicle article is a typographical error, and the correct year of the uniforms is 1935. LOA from Dave Bushing/SCD Authentic. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $6,960.00


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