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1922 Jack Dempsey French Boxing Medallion
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $470
This gold medallion, which was presented to former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey in 1922 by "La Federation Francaise de Boxeo," originates from the estate of former Major League player and manager Charlie Grimm, and was consigned to this auction, along with a tremendous amount of other material, by one of his family members. Because of its impressive and substantial nature, and the fact that this is an item that would be most appreciated by boxing collectors, we decided to offer it separately instead of grouping it with Grimm's personal material. Unfortunately, the Grimm family had no information regarding the history of the piece other than corroborating the fact that both Grimm and his wife Marion were personal friends of Dempsey. It is likely this was given to Charlie Grimm as a token of friendship by Dempsey. The front of the exquisitely designed medallion features an image in relief of a lion perched upon a pedestal set against a mountain backdrop. The words "Au Courage" appear along the top, while the initials "F.F.B." (Federation Francaise Boxeo) are lettered at the base of the pedestal. All images and letters are in raised relief. Engraved on the reverse is "La Federation Francaise de Boxeo - A Jack Dempsey Champion Du Monde - Paris - Avril 1922." This medallion was almost certainly awarded to Dempsey in recognition of his successful title defense over Frenchman Georges Carpentier on July 2, 1921. Dempsey won the heavyweight title in 1919 when, as a tremendous underdog, he defeated Jess Willard in three rounds. He successfully defended his title twice before meeting Carpentier on July 2, 1921, in what was billed at the time as "the fight of the century." Carpentier, a highly decorated French pilot during World War I, was extremely popular at home and abroad. He was also a talented fighter and a heavy favorite in the fight. The bout, held in Jersey City, New Jersey, generated tremendous interest and resulted in the first million-dollar gate in boxing history. The "Manassa Mauler" once again proved the oddsmakers wrong that night, battering Carpentier for three rounds before finally knocking him out in the fourth. Dempsey did not defend his title again until 1923, a full year after this medallion was presented to him. The medallion measures one inch in diameter and remains in Excellent to Mint condition. We believe it to be 14K gold but it is not marked. This is both an attractive and rare boxing award issued to one of the most iconic sports figures in American history. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $470
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