Fall Premier Auction 2017


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/4/2017

For those familiar with our nation's tradition of sports competition within its various armed forces, this lot represents the sport that has long delivered the most heated inter-branch battles of all: boxing. One enlistee by the name of R.D. Near must have been a legendary fighter amongst his entire military branch, as this lot includes two U.S. Fleet championship belts and three Battle Fleet medals won by the Navy boxer from 1926-30. It also includes a vintage circa 1930's boxing robe worn by a different fighter in the Navy. All items come from the esteemed museum collection at the San Diego Hall of Champions.

The two silk boxing belts have red, white and blue silk fabric straps with 4.5" by 3.25" metal buckle depicting two boxers at center in raised relief. They are adjustable with a blue interior strap lining that appears to be polyester. They are almost identical save for the inscriptions on the buckles. One says "BATTLE FLEET CHAMPIONSHIP" at the top and "1929 MIDDLEWEIGHT 30" engraved on the bottom with "WON BY R.D. NEAR DEC.14-1929" at center. The other reads "US FLEET CHAMPION - 1930" on top and "MIDDLEWEIGHT" on bottom. The straps show heavy wear and aging but remain intact and both belt are still perfectly wearable.

Of the three medals--all of which are engraved with R.D. Near's name, two have gold-colored plating and a similar relief image of two boxers fighting on the front. The smaller of the two (34mm across) is more circular and has a short blue ribbon attached to a lapel pin. It is inscribed "BATTLE FLEET SEMI-FINALS" and MIDDLEWEIGHT NOV.29-1929" on back. The larger of the two is more oval-shaped (45mm by 35mm), with a crown on the front and the same inscription on back except for the date of "DEC, 1926". The other more copper-toned medal has "ATHLETIC AWARD" and "U.S.S. CALIFORNIA" engraved on front with bear relief image at center. It is dated "DEC 9-1929" below his name on the back and has a blue and yellow ribbon attached. Each medal presents in VF to GVF condition. All three medals and one of the belts are hallmarked on the back by the metal maker "T.V. Allen Co. - Los Angeles, Calif."

The final piece is a heavy gray/blue denim patterned boxing robe with yellow trim made of thick cotton-like fabric. There is no manufacturer's tagging on the interior, but the name of the man who wore this "M. FERRARA" is stamped on a large strip tag on the inside. Stitched on the back in yellow felt going vertically down is "W 37 T - 37 - NA (with green outline) - NA - N - B N T - N" with a star towards the bottom. The robe comes with its original large yellow draw belt that remains heavily tasseled.  There are holes for buttons but no buttons present. Two outer pockets complete the classic robe's design. It shows heavy wear and aging, with several small holes and punctures in the fabric, but comes otherwise all-original in tremendous shape considering the journey it has taken to get to this point.

Includes Letter of Provenance from San Diego Hall of Champions.

Note: Battle Fleet was the name of the Pacific presence (primarily battleships and aircraft carriers) that were part of the U.S. Fleet from 1922-41.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300
Final prices include buyers premium.: $527
Number Bids:5
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