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Babe Ruth’s Personal Toiletry Items (6)
Starting Bid - $2,000.00 , Sold For - $21,150.00
Offered here are Babe Ruth’s personal toiletry items that were originally obtained by legendary collector Barry Halper directly from Mrs. Ruth. The collection consists of a hairbrush (7.5 x 3 inches), a shoe brush (2.25 x 7.25 inches), a comb (7.5 inches in length), a shoehorn (5 inches in length), a glass toothbrush holder with a metal cap (7 inches in length), and a pair of small scissors (4 inches in length). All of the pieces, with the exception of the scissors, are monogrammed with Ruth’s initials (“GHR”) on the front. With the exception of the scissors, each article is crafted in sterling silver and was manufactured by Reed and Barton (so stamped on each piece). All of the items display wear commensurate with their age and appear to have been used for many years by the Babe. Interestingly, the hairbrush displays numerous strands remaining among the bristles that, presumably, are from Ruth’s head. Obviously, we have not conducted any DNA tests on the hair strands, and possibly someone else in Ruth’s family used this brush after he passed away. However, given the extremely personal nature of combs and brushes, this seems unlikely. In terms of nonscientific provenance, the hairs in this brush appear to have as direct a link to Babe Ruth as one could ever hope for. Barry Halper was very close with Ruth’s widow, Claire, and often escorted her to Yankee Old Timers' Day games and other special events at the stadium prior to her passing in 1976. During that time Barry was given many of Ruth’s personal items directly from her as tokens of appreciation for his kindness, including this set of items. This lot was offered in our April 2007 sale, where it realized a final price of $16,400. It has been consigned to this auction directly from the purchaser in last year’s auction with the exception of one piece: a hand mirror. The reason for that is both interesting and inspirational. Our consignor purchased the lot last year specifically for the mirror, which he now uses as a motivational tool for young ballplayers. As a coach of a youth baseball team, on which his sons play, he often has the kids look at themselves in a mirror before and after each game, telling them that if they can look at themselves and say they have given their all in the game, that win or lose, they have succeeded as players. What better mirror to use, he thought, than the same one used by Babe Ruth. That’s the reason this collection (less the mirror) is now offered once again. Total: 6 pieces. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $21,150.00
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