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Lot # 1396 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1938 Joe Louis/Max Schmeling Original Fight Ticket and Circa 1970 Ring Magazine Repro Poster

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,410.00

Very Important Addendum: The poster in this lot is not original - it is a rare vintage reproduction that was produced and sold by Ring Magazine approximately thirty-five years ago. The ticket is authentic. We appreciate the feedback from Boxing expert Craig Hamilton which allowed us to correct this error. All bidders prior to the posting of this addendum are being contacted to withdraw their bids if desired. The ticket still has substantial value and the poster, though not period, is still ideal for display. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Previous Addendum: Please Note: Recently, it was necessary to remove this piece from the frame in order to further examine it. During that process the frame, which was quite old and brittle had to be discarded. Therefore, the piece is now simply matted and will be shipped to the winning bidder in its current state.

Original onsite fight poster and full ticket, together in a framed display, for the Joe Louis/Max Schmeling heavyweight title fight held on June 22, 1938 at Yankee Stadium. This piece is accompanied by the rare and extraordinary distinction of having once been exhibited on loan at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., as part of the museum's 1981-1982 exhibition "Champions - Heroes of American Sport." The second fight between champion Joe Louis and German born challenger Max Schmeling was one of the most significant and celebrated sporting events in history. For boxing purists it offered the opportunity to witness Joe Louis square off against the only man who had beaten him professionally (Schmeling knocked Louis out in 1936). For others the bout took on even greater importance due to the political and social ramifications of the time. Adolph Hitler had risen to power in Germany and had already begun his persecution of the Jews as well as a pattern of territorial expansion that would result in World War II. Schmeling, unfairly it seems, was used as a tool by Hitler to promote his views of Aryan supremacy (Schmeling held the heavyweight title briefly in 1930). For that reason the bout was viewed by many as a fight not only between men, but of ideals. As the fight date grew closer the hysteria over the bout began to consume the American public. Louis was even summoned to the White House, where The New York Times quoted President Roosevelt as telling him, "Joe, we need muscles like yours to beat Germany." When the day finally arrived, over 70,000 fans packed Yankee Stadium and the fight was broadcast in four languages as millions around the world listened to the call. With the weight of a nation resting squarely on his shoulders, Louis responded with one of the greatest performances of his career. The "Brown Bomber" pummeled the challenger unmercifully at the sound of the bell and knocked him down twice before Schmeling's corner quickly threw in the towel. The fight lasted just two minutes and four seconds. Just as Jesse Owens had done previously in the 1936 Olympics, Louis had not only retained his title but repudiated Hitler's claims of Aryan supremacy on the world stage. In a career punctuated by numerous highlights, this was clearly his finest hour. Schmeling only fought six times after that bout, all of which were in Germany. Though he was vilified at the time, Schmeling was clearly a pawn in Hitler's propaganda machine. He was never a member of the Nazi party, nor did he share the beliefs of the party. In fact, the manager for all of his American fights, Joe Jacobs, was Jewish. Louis successfully defended his title over the next ten years and is considered one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. As noted earlier, this piece was formerly on loan to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C,. for its exhibition "Champions - Heroes in American Sports." Additionally the display is also prominently featured as a photo illustration in the book Champions of American Sport by Marc Pachter (published by Harry N Abrams, 1981) that was issued in conjunction with the museum's exhibit. The original National Portrait Gallery loan label remains affixed to the reverse of the frame. The poster (14 x 20.5 inches) displays very light foxing and is otherwise in apparent Excellent condition. The full ticket (7 x 2.5 inches) is in apparent Excellent to Mint condition. Both pieces have been matted and framed together to total dimensions of 23 x 33.5 inches. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $1,410.00

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