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Extraordinary 1960s Cassius Clay Signed and Worn Training Gloves
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $9,988
Pair of vintage speed-bag gloves used and signed by Cassius Clay during the early 1960s. Each of the well-worn black-leather gloves has been signed "Cassius Clay" in black marker (grading "9") on the wrist strap. A "Passon's" sporting-goods label (Philadelphia) appears on the reverse of the right-hand glove. These gloves originate from the personal collection of Drew "Bundini" Brown, who was Ali's longtime assistant trainer and corner man and were first offered publicly during the sale of Brown's collection by Christie's (New York) in 1990. Included with the gloves is a copy of the original LOA (written by a gentleman named Glen O'Brien) that accompanied them during the 1990 Christie's sale (LOA can be viewed on our website). Brown first became associated with Clay in the early 1960s, prior to Clay's conversion to Islam and subsequent name change to Muhammad Ali in 1964. Today, most Ali historians credit Brown as the originator of Ali's most famous battle cry: ''Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.'' Any and all boxing gear used by Muhammad Ali, especially those items dating from his early pro career prior to his defeating Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship in 1964, are extremely rare and highly prized by collectors. The fact that these originate from "Bundini" Brown's personal collection only adds to their great significance. Each of these gloves, signed ("Cassius Clay") individually, could naturally stand on its own (that is, they could always be broken up and be very desirable to collectors as two individual items), but the pair has been together since the 1960s and so shall remain together per the instructions of our consignor. The gloves display heavy wear throughout, but the leather remains supple and each is free of any significant tears or flaws. In Very Good condition overall. Each glove is also accompanied by an individual LOA from PSA/DNA (signature only). Additional LOA (signature only) from James Spence/JSA. Additional LOA Troy Kinunen/MEARS (gloves only). Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,988
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