Spring 2006 Catalog > Sports > Boxing
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Lot 146: One of the Finest Boxing Pieces Extant - Ringlights: An Original Boxing Cartoon Book Created by "Tad"
Amazing one-of-a-kind book, owned and created by the incomparable Thomas Aloysius "Tad" Dorgan during his early days with his hometown San Francisco Bulletin. The Dean of Sports Cartoonists, Tad’s original cartoons adorn each and every one of these pages. Most interestingly, the cartoons themselves comment on the mostly “full page” original photographs by Dana & Peterson. Yes, the synergistic combination of Tad (the preeminent sports cartoonist) and Percy Dana (the Charles Conlon of boxing!). The “title page” features an original Tad pen and ink self portrait (8.25x6.75”) watching a fight, adorned with hand-lettered poem, and a cartoon of his editor. Inside is a treasure chest of 28 pages affixed with 31 original photos by Dana. Only one of the photos is marked on the front “Dana & Peterson”. To each page Tad has added an original cartoon in white ink. For example, the book opens to the 1902 Bob Fitzsimons v. Jim Jefferies Fight. There is a pair of shots of the two sparring. Tad has added an incredible original cartoon of Fitzsimons “eyeing” Jeffries’ crown. The fights represented here include Jack Johnson v. Sam McVey, Fitzsimmons-Jeffries, Burns-Foley, Jeffries-Corbett, Yanger-Hanlon, Sieger-Britt, Gardner-Fitzsimmons, Hanlon-Young Corbett, Broad-Hanlon, Dave Sullivan-Young Corbett, Britt-Young Corbett, Canole-Nelson, Walcott-Dixie Kid, Berger-Rodenbach, Hanlon-Nelson, Munroe-Jeffries, Walcott-Gans, Britt-Corbett, Britt-Gans (2), and Young Corbett-Nelson (2). Plus, there are individual tributes to Bob Fitzsimmons, Battling Nelson, Joe Gans, Young Corbett, Broad, Britt, Hanlon and Rodenbach. Some of the highlights cartoon-wise include Jeffries knocking Corbett across the page, Jeffries “blowing away” Munroe, Walcott and Gans as an evenly matched “in” and “out,” Young Corbett taken away on a stretcher, Battling Nelson lifting 100,000 pounds, Joe Gans running into buzz saw Britt and more. The Bob Fitzsimmons drawings are fantastic. He is a long loper with freckles and impossibly skinny. The Jack Johnson and Sam McVey as racial stereotypes are shocking. The highlights photographically are invariably the black fighters with Jack Johnson. Sam McVey the best in the lot with the original Joe Walcott v. The Dixie Kid a close second. The 26-year old Johnson looks ready to take on the world and conquer it. In the end, they would conquer him. The book itself is scrapbook format. The black pages are fronted with black pages with leather cover (13.5x10”) in brown leather covers. The spine was reinforced at some period with a spine insured in gold “San Francisco Boxing Scene…1902-1904…Cartoons by TAD.” The cover sports its original handpainted title “Ringlights” in white paint. Photos are mostly 8x6”; some are slightly smaller. The cover has wear, but is intact and holds together perfectly. The insides are beautiful, and overall EX-MT. Many of the photographs are each worth $1,000 or more (some far more). They are a timeline of an amazing series of San Francisco fights of the early 1900's. These early Wild West venues with their raucous backgrounds and pinpoint detail are like a page from Buffalo Bill’s diary. How can you calculate their value when adding an original cartoon by Tad? And do not forget the amazing racial content of some. The breakdown value is staggering (over $100,000), but that would be a shame. This book is the ultimate time machine. It takes you back to when men were men and boxers were supermen. This is originally from the archive of boxing editor extraordinaire Jack Fiske. This piece has not seen the light of day until this moment.
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