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Lot # 836 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1928 Arnold Rothstein Endorsed Check and Original Photograph

Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $2,643.75

Extremely rare signature example of Arnold Rothstein, the man who "fixed" the 1919 World Series, dated just four months before he was gunned down in a New York City hotel on November 3, 1928. The check, dated June 30, 1928, and issued by Adolph Klar, Inc., is made out to "Arnold Rothstein" in the amount of $102.81 and has been endorsed by Rothstein on the reverse. Rothstein's signature has been scripted in black fountain pen and grades a perfect "10." Arnold Rothstein signature examples of any kind are almost unheard of, let alone on an ideal item such as a check. This check example originates from a recent find of two, both of which were discovered together in the historical document collectibles world. While Rothstein's notoriety today is largely based upon his involvement in the 1919 World Series scandal, he was one of the top underworld figures in history and a leader of New York organized crime during the "Roaring Twenties." Known by a number of nicknames, including "The Brain," "The Big Bank Roll," "The Fixer," and "Mr. Big," Rothstein was a larger-than-life character in an era of excess and one of the most famous gamblers in history. Rothstein had a knack for betting on "sure things," specifically those events in which the outcome had been "prearranged." The 1919 World Series, because of its national scope, was his most famous "fix," although he always denied any involvement in the scandal. On November 3, 1928 he was gunned down at the Park Central Hotel in New York City and he passed away the following day as a result of his wounds. The reason for his murder has always been attributed to his large loss of $320,000 the previous month at a high-stakes poker game, a debt which Rothstein refused to pay, ironically, because he said the game was "fixed." The check (8 x 3 inches) displays a vertical fold, two tiny corner creases and a few staple holes, as well as normal bank cancellation stamps and perforations. Very Good to Excellent condition. Matted and framed together with an original 7 x 8-inch news photo (Vg) of Rothstein dating from the 1920s, and which is a significant and valuable item in its own right. This particular photograph was used many times in print, as noted by the numerous date stampings (1924 being the earliest) and vintage newspaper clippings on the reverse. Total dimensions: 18.5 x 15 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $2,643.75


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