Classic 1987 Lou Gehrig The Sporting News Eagle Artworks Limited-Edition Bronze Statue

Sold For: $1,645

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1721

Item Year: 1951

Category: Internet Only

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One does not have to be an art connoisseur or have a background in art to appreciate the remarkable craftsmanship exhibited in this exquisite limited-edition bronze sculpture of Lou Gehrig. This is not the first example of this exquisite work we have seen or handled, however, we do know that the issued bronze statues (marketed exclusively via The Sporting News ) differed slightly with regard to their marble base and paint color. The offered bronze statue, which sits upon an attractive mottled-green alabaster base, features the largest of the three bases we have seen and is the only one to include a home plate. While it is the most attractive variation we have encountered, it is also something of an enigma. Unlike the other examples we have seen, this one has not been painted and the artist's name (R. P. Daus) is not engraved along the base. Instead the base features the engraved name of "Del Zornada" and the copyright date "87." The other examples we have seen feature Daus' engraved name and bear a 1988 copyright date. Two other previously unseen engravings, which appear on the other side of the base, read "Eagle Artworks/St. Louis, MO." and "25" (limitation number). Even the engraved title of this piece Henry Louis Gehrig is different (others are titled Pride of the Yankees ). Additional side engravings, which are consistent with other examples, read " The Sporting News " and "W. W. S. Inc." While information regarding the engraving variations of this piece are limited (as we have had so few examples to examine over the years), we did discover that Victor "Del" Zornada was the owner of Eagle Artworks. This piece is a true work of art and has always been marketed as such. When originally offered in the pages of The Sporting News during the late 1980s, its issue price was $2,000. While many collectors appreciated the beauty of the piece at the time, its prohibitive cost resulted in a very limited distribution. Today, it is considered among the finest sports sculptures ever produced. According to the original press release, this sculpture was modeled after a Charles Conlon glass negative of Lou Gehrig from The Sporting News' photo archives. It should also be noted that the artist, R. P. Daus, is a sculptor of some note and his famous Fireman's Memorial, which stands outside City Hall on Market Street, is considered one of St. Louis' most impressive landmarks. This is an exceptional work of art and one that transcends the field of baseball collectibles. Near Mint condition. Height: approximately 16.25 inches (includes the height of the one-inch marble base). Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,645

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