Lot # 53: Rare 1890 “Champion of the World” John L. Sullivan (Arms Crossed) Cabinet Photo – SGC-Graded Authentic – The ONLY Example Graded by SGC!

Category: Other Sports

Starting Bid: $500.00

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(LOT 53)
Rare 1890 "Champion of the World" John L. Sullivan (Arms Crossed) Cabinet Photo – SGC-Graded Authentic – The ONLY Example Graded by SGC!

John L. Sullivan began his professional career in baseball, foregoing schooling, much to the chagrin of his parents who envisioned their boy becoming a Roman Catholic priest. But that calling was quashed when Sullivan abandoned school for professional baseball and eventually professional boxing. John L. went from bar fights where "he could lick any man in the house" to professional bouts, one of which occurred on a barge on the Hudson River when he KO'd Jon Flood in eight rounds. But the early days of boxing were shrouded in mystique as the debate over who was the actual "first" heavyweight champion of the world. However, having beaten Charley Mitchell in France in 1888 and Jake Kilrain in a 75-round bout (scheduled for 80) in 1889, it was difficult to argue his stature as the world's best fighter and he is thereby regarded as the "first heavyweight champion of the world." The Kilrain affair was the final consequential bare-knuckle heavyweight match. The Boston Strong Boy fought one last significant bout against the younger and more agile Gentleman Jim Corbett, in 1892, losing in the 21st round.

Offered is a truly rare cabinet card from the height of John L. Sullivan's career. This scarce, 1890 Cabinet John L. Sullivan "Champion of the World" cabinet, measuring 4" x 6", is SGC-graded Authentic as it is the ONLY example of record on the SGC Pop Report. Pictured shirtless, Sullivan's image virtually leaps off the photo as if the portrait was removed from a family portrait wall in his home. The striking photo features a deep-burgundy border with the pugilist's facsimile scripted signature at the bottom in gold. Expected 130-year-old edge and unobtrusive surface wear apparent with minimal color loss at the corners. The reverse shows minor toning with insignificant marks and a removed pencil notation that in no way detracts from the visual appeal of this well-over century old relic. Similar variations are available of the Boston Strong Boy in a late-19th century boxing pose, another in street clothes and the identical cabinet with "John L. Sullivan – Champions of the World" printed at the bottom. And though these variations are rare, we have seen few examples such as the offered appear at auction!

MIN BID $500
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