Fall Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2019

The “Original Celtics” were the world’s greatest professional basketball team in the early part of the 20th century. No relation to the Boston Celtics, they were primarily a barnstorming squad formed out of the disbanded New York Celtics following WW1, although they did spend time in the America’s three struggling pro leagues -- EBL (1921-22), MBL (1922-23) and ABL (1926-30) -- where they won three titles. The juggernaut group of roundball junkies would travel nearly 150,000 miles a year playing a 150-200 game schedule. Led by such pioneers as Dutch Dehnert, Nat Holman and Joe Lapchick, John Beckman, Pete Barry, Nat Hickey and Davey Banks, New York's Original Celtics won an estimated 90% of their games during their 20+ years of existence. They were too good, in fact, and were essentially blackballed and dismantled by the ABL, sending them back on the road to barnstorm by the early 1930s.

In 1928 Lapchick, Dehnert and Barry left the N.Y. Original Celtics for the Cleveland Rosenblums owned by department store magnate, Max Rosenblum, who then named the team after himself. The "Rosenblum Celtics" won two straight ABL titles before the league folded. Between 1931 and 1933, pro basketball teams had to barnstorm with no legitimate leagues operating. John "Honey" Russell, once a star for the Cleveland Rosenblums until he had a falling out with the owner, formed his own squad with former Rosenblum teammates Lou Spindell and Ray Kennedy.

Offered here is an incredibly rare, double-sided handbill advertising a barnstorming game between Rosenblum's Celtics and Honey Russell's Brooklyn Americans at the Canton City Auditorium on Monday, February 8, 1932. By that time, Hickey and Banks had joined Rosenblum's new version of the Original Celtics as had Cookie Cunningham. All six players are pictured on the main side. The other side has Honey Russell's starting five, including Russell himself with a "Greatest Defensive Guard in Basketball" caption. Benny Goodman is mentioned with a caption, but not pictured. Reserved seats cost 50 cents and general admission was 35 cents according to the poster. All print comes in red with strong color. The delicate beige colored paper measures 8.5" by 14" and was once folded in fourths as indicated by its clean fold lines. The paper is relatively clean with a significant wrinkle crease below Dehnert's image (next to Russell on other side). Aside from slight paper loss on the upper left corner, the rest of the handbill is in tremendous shape for its fragility and age. Overall VG-EX condition.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200
Final prices include buyers premium.: $520
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Saturday, December 14, 2019.
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