Winter Premier Auction 2021


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

On the morning of March 31, 1931 Knute Rockne prepared to board TWA flight 599 from Kansas City to Los Angeles. At age 43 Rockne was already a living legend of college football. In 1910 he realized his boyhood dream of playing football for Notre Dame, revolutionizing the way the game was played by pioneering the forward pass and winning All-American honors before he graduated in 1914. Five years later he was the University’s head coach and over the next 13 years he’d lead Notre Dame to five undefeated seasons and three national championships. His 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 ties for a .881 winning percentage is still unrivaled. Now he was on his way to Hollywood to act as the technical advisor for Universal Picture’s "The Spirit of Notre Dame" which would no doubt bring more fame to the university and their legendary head coach.

And while Knute Rockne brought championship ball to Notre Dame, he took in return a religious devoutness that saw him converting to Catholicism in 1925. When Rev. Vincent Mooney baptized Rockne he was presented with a set of rosary beads with an attached cross and carrying case and a prayer book. These two items joined the gold pocket watch given to him by his wife as the three things that never left his person, and accordingly were in his pocket as he boarded Flight 599 on the morning of March 31, 1931.

About an hour into the flight the weather turned nasty. It is speculated that the Fokker Tri-motor was experiencing turbulence and ice. The pilot contacted Wichita Airport to report, "The weather here is getting tough. We're going to turn around and go back to Kansas City." At some point Knute Rockne pulled his cherished rosary beads from his pocket and gripped them tightly.

The Fokker Tri-motor was high above Bazaar, Kansas when it lost a wing and crashed in a lonely pasture. Of the six passengers and two crewmembers, there were no survivors. Rescuers at the scene recovered Knute Rockne's body, his rosary clutched in his hand.

These are his rosary beads. The set is complete with the attached cross and carrying case with “My Rosary” in gold on its flap. An extraordinary part of the Knute Rockne legend and the one item that gave the great coach comfort in his final moments.

Estimate: $100,000+

This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $35,000
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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