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82 1972 Ali/Frazier Complete Suite of Fifteen Limited-Edition Signed Etchings Signed by Ali, Frazier and Neiman (15)
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $35,250.00
Presented is an extremely rare and remarkable suite of fifteen limited-edition signed LeRoy Neiman etchings of the first heavyweight championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, held on March 8, 1971. It is rare to find even a single example of these early Ali-Frazier Neiman originals, let alone a complete set of all fifteen (one per round) in its original presentation slipcase as issued. We have never before seen a complete set offered. This particular suite is all the more noteworthy in that not only has each etching been signed in pencil by the artist as originally issued, but also by Ali and Frazier. Twelve of the etchings (picturing the two fighters together in the ring) have been signed by both Ali and Frazier. The remaining three etchings depict the fighters individually and, therefore, have been signed, respectively, by either Ali (two etchings) or Frazier (one etching). This collection, which includes the original leather-bound slipcase, was issued in 1972 by Circle Gallery Ltd. and was limited in number to only 150 suites. As described on the cover sheet, this collection is comprised of “a suite of fifteen original etchings executed on handmade rives BFK paper and pencil signed by the artist, each etching numbered 1/150 to 150/150. Twenty-five proofs on rives BFK have been reserved for the artist. Pulled at the S. Martin Friedman Atelier, New York, 1972. All plates have been destroyed.” The fifteen engravings in this suite are all numbered “146/150” and, as noted previously, have each been signed along the lower margin in pencil by the artist and by either one or both of the respective fighters. Frazier has added an additional inscription next to his signature on three of the etchings. On the two works depicting his knock down of Ali he has written “Down Goes Ali.” On the final etching, picturing the two in the ring after the fight, he has added, “Champ Smokin Joe Frazier.” All of the signatures grade “10.” Each sheet measures 14.75 x 20.25 inches (image area is 10.25 x 13.5 inches) and bears the Circle Gallery proprietary stamp in the lower left corner. The sheets all remain in Near Mint condition. The leather-bound portfolio (15.5 x 21 inches) displays moderate wear and is in Very Good condition. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Total: 15 Leroy Neiman signed engravings. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$7,500. SOLD FOR $35,250.00
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