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Lot # 1521 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1933 Philadelphia Eagles Stock Certificate Issued to and Signed by "Bert" Bell

Starting Bid - $300.00 , Sold For - $1,410.00

Exceedingly rare and historically significant Philadelphia Eagles stock certificate issued to, and signed by, team co-founder Bert Bell during the club's inaugural season of 1933. The certificate, numbered "19" and dated December 15, 1933, certifies that "de Benneville Bell" is the owner of two hundred shares of Common Capital Stock of the Philadelphia Football Club Inc. It has been signed in black fountain pen (grading "9") along the base by "de Benneville Bell" and by the team's treasurer. The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the NFL's most storied franchises and Bell is one of the game's legendary figures. Bert Bell was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1963. This stock certificate originates directly from Bell's estate and is one of a lot of eight that was sold at auction many years ago. Of those eight, this was the only one that had the important distinction of dating from 1933, the club's inaugural season. Over the years our consignor eventually parted with the other seven, but he held on to this one because of its extraordinary significance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only Philadelphia Eagles stock certificate known dating from 1933. This is an extremely desirable and rare NFL document, commemorating not only the birth of the Eagles but also the important legacy left behind by the legendary Bert Bell. De Benneville Bell, known as "Bert" Bell, was one of the most important figures in NFL history, first as an owner and later as league commissioner. Bell, who was a former college quarterback at Penn, co-founded the Philadelphia Eagles in 1933 with two of his college friends. In 1936 he took a more active role with the team by assuming the duties of head coach. The following year he purchased the team outright, but financial woes later resulted in his switching franchises to become part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers with Art Rooney. In 1946 he sold his interest in the Steelers and became NFL Commissioner, a position he held until his death in 1959. As an owner, Bell was instrumental in establishing the NFL draft in 1937, the same year in which he established the Maxwell Football Club, which to this day continues to recognize the nation's top college football player with its issuance of the Maxwell Award. As a Commissioner, he oversaw the merger with the AFL and negotiated the first television rights for the League. He's also famous for coining the phrase "On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team." The certificate (12 x 9 inches) displays a light paper clip impression in the upper left corner and is otherwise in apparent Near Mint condition. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 18 x 15 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,410.00

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