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Lot # 1117 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Exceptional 1920s Matched Pairs of Willard-Dempsey and Tunney-Dempsey Boxing Pins (4 pins)

Starting Bid - $400, Sold For - $1,200

Matched pair of boxing pins (4 pins in total) issued, respectively, for the Dempsey-Willard heavyweight title bout in 1919 and the first Dempsey-Tunney heavyweight title bout in 1926. All of these pins come with the special provenance of having once resided in the famed Paul Muchinsky Collection and have been consigned directly by Dr. Muchinsky. All four of these pins are significant rarities among boxing celluloids, and the fact that they are in matched pairs is extremely unsusal and naturally makes them all the more desirable to advanced collectors. 1) Dempsey-Willard. Each pin (1.5 inches in diameter) features an individual portrait image of the respective fighter, with his name printed along the base. Challenger Jack Dempsey was a 6-5 underdog against Jess Willard in their title bout, held on July 4, 1919, in Toledo, Ohio. Dempsey pummeled the larger champion for three rounds, knocking him down seven times in the first round alone, before Willard's corner finally threw in the towel. Dempsey held the title for seven years before being defeated by Jack Tunney in 1926. The Dempsey pin displays light wear and is in Excellent condition. The Willard pin displays a few tiny specks of what appears to be be white paint on the front, otherwise both pins are in Near Mint condition. Neither pin comes with a paper backing. 2) Dempsey-Tunney I. These pins were issued for the first Dempsey/Tunney fight, held on September 23, 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in which Tunney won the title by unanimous decision. A number of pins and badges were produced for the fight, with this pair representing the largest pin style issued. Each pin (1.75 inches in diameter) features an individual bust-length image of the respective fighter, with his name printed along the top. The images used here are identical to those used on the smaller-issued pins, but the design features red-white-and-blue rings circling the photos. Both of these pins are the plate specimens featured on Dr. Muchinsky's blog article of March 26, 1913, titled "Pins of the Dempsey-Tunney Heavyweight Title Fights." The Dempsey pin, which is without a paper backing, is in Excellent to Mint condition. The Tunney pin, complete with its paper backing from the "Phila. Badge Co.," displays minor staining along the outer white perimeter and a few light scratches. In Very Good condition overall. Total: 4 pins. From the personal collection of Dr. Paul Muchinsky, legendary pioneer collector and author of Baseball Pinback Buttons: A Photographically Illustrated Compendium and Price Guide. Reserve $400. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,200


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