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1923 Christy Mathewson Engraved Presentation Pendant
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $2,643.75
This small, rectangular 10K gold pendant was presented to Christy Mathewson in 1923 by the members of the Jackson Matthews American Legion Post of Saranac Lake, New York, and originates directly from his estate. The front of the pendant features a small diamond set within the center, surrounded by blue enamel that is lettered "American Legion." The reverse is engraved "To Christy Mathewson - In Appreciation — From The Jackson Matthews Post — August 23, 1923." Mathewson was quite ill at the time he received this pendant. In 1921 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis in both lungs resulting from his exposure to mustard gas in World War I. Subsequently, he was sent to Saranac Lake, New York, for treatment. During his time there he became heavily involved with the local American Legion post and its efforts in establishing a welfare fund and veterans' club. This pendant was obviously a gift of thanks from the Jackson Matthews American Legion Post for his many contributions. Mathewson, although still suffering from the effects of his illness, left Saranac Lake in 1923 and attempted to resume a normal life as president of the Boston Braves. Unfortunately, the strain of the job was too much for him and he was forced to return to Saranac Lake in 1925, where he eventually passed away on October 7th. The pendant is accompanied by a copy of a page from the personal scrapbook of Jane Mathewson (Christy's wife) that features a posthumous newspaper article relating to the establishment of a Christy Mathewson National Memorial in Saranac Lake. Mathewson's strong ties to the Jackson Matthews American Legion Post are cited in the article, "Christy Mathewson was an active member of Jackson A. Matthews Post of the Legion, which is made up entirely of disabled veterans. While there he became greatly interested in the welfare of the disabled and was instrumental in establishing a welfare fund and a veteran's club. The Christy Mathewson Memorial will perpetuate these two things in his name." Included with the pendant are two circa 1920s Charles Conlon original news photos of Mathewson that were also obtained directly from the Mathewson family. Both photos, taken during the early 1900s, picture Mathewson in uniform as a member of the Giants as he poses for the camera. It is interesting to note that one of the poses is nearly identical to that used in the famed 1911 T3 Turkey Red card of Mathewson. Although these photos were produced from original Charles Conlon negatives, they were printed in the 1920s by the Keystone View Company, Inc., of New York (the company's proprietary stamp appears on the reverse). Each photo measures 6.5 x 8.5 inches and displays minor corner wear, otherwise in Near Mint condition. The pendant (.5 x .5 inches) is in Excellent condition and is further accompanied by a copy of a 2006 jeweler's appraisal that lists the size and weight of the diamond (2.6 MM wide weighing .08 Ct.) as well as its clarity (SI1) and color (I-J-K). Total: 5 items (pendant, copy of scrapbook page, two 1920s news photos, and copy of the jeweler's report). Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,643.75
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