December 2003 > Sports > Boxing
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Lot 458: James J. Corbett Signed Cabinet Photo (4x6.5”) with Original Mailing Label
A fabulous vintage cabinet photo of “Gentleman” James J. Corbett. Signed on the front in black fountain pen, “Sincerely Jas J. Corbett - 1892.” This was a cabinet produced immediately following Corbett’s memorable defeat of Boston Strong Boy, John L. Sullivan for the heavyweight championship on September 7, 1892. Underlined by black print, which reads, “James J. Corbett - Champion of the World.” Copyrighted 1893 by W.M. Morrison, Chicago with photographer’s cartouche stamped in lower right. The original mailing label, attached to its verso is additionally signed by the Champion, “J.J. Corbett, Bayside, New York.” Remarkably, the ink inscriptions and signatures are almost perfect with very little fading. Front signature grades a “7.5” out of a possible 10, the reverse signature grades an “8”. The photo itself is toned a dark brown in VG-EX condition. This most vital cabinet is all the more significant since it is a direct product of what is regarded as the single most important event in 19th century boxing. It was the first gloved match in heavyweight championship history, adhering to the new fighting rules, known as the Queensberry Rules, implemented in New Orleans to legalize boxing as a sport. September 7, 1892 would mark the main event of a three-day affair, dubbed the “Carnival of Champions” and was witnessed live by a record-breaking 10,000 fans. A new era of boxing was born.
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