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1860 Heenan vs. Sayers World Heavyweight Championship Etched Vase
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $464.00
The much-heralded World Heavyweight Championship boxing match between John Heenan of the United States and Tom Sayers of Great Britain in 1860 was the first international title bout. Among the many items produced at that time to commemorate the bout was this beautiful goblet vase made of fine heavy glass, with full body poses of both pugilists deeply etched in the glass and surrounded by etched decorative laurel leaves. The opposite side is etched with another wreath and the names "Heenan and Sayers." The tiny bubbles in the stem attest to the age of the glass, indicative of hand-blown glassware produced at this time. Heenan at 6' 2", 195 pounds, far outweighed Sayers who stood 5' 8" and weighed 158 pounds. Nevertheless their bout at Farborough, England, lasted two hours and twenty minutes, thirty-seven rounds, ending only after the near riot that broke out among the spectators spilled into the ring. The enthusiastic crowd included William Thackeray, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Nast, as well as military personnel, members of Parliament and other aristocrats. The bare-knuckle clash was the most famous in history up to that time and remains the unofficial beginning of the World Heavyweight title as we now know it. Although the fight was declared a draw, most observers felt that Heenan won. After Sayers' retirement, Heenan was universally acknowledged to be the Champion of the World. Of the numerous souvenir items produced to commemorate this historic battle, this glass vase is one of the rarest and finest. Height: 10 inches. In Near Mint condition with a minute edge chip. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $464.00
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