Turn of the Century Boxing Contracts and Receipts Collection (11) w/George Dixon, Tommy Kelly, and Solly Smith
<p>This collection of 19th-century boxing contracts and receipts is highlighted by signed receipts from former bantamweight champion Tommy Kelly and Billy Plimmer from their 1892 title bout, an 1892 fight contract involving George Dixon, the first African American athlete to win world championship in any sport, and a fight contract involving Solly Smith, future featherweight champion. All these documents originate from the estate of Arthur T. Lumley, who was the editor of the <em>Police Gazette </em>and who served as a prominent fight agent for various clubs during the era. Unless otherwise noted, all the signatures are boldly scripted and grade between 8/10 and 10/10. <strong>1) </strong>One-page typed contract dated April 20, 1892, for a "Glove Contest" between George Dixon and Fred Johnson before the Coney Island Athletic Club on June 27, 1892. The contract has been signed in black fountain pen by Fred Johnson and Thomas O'Rourke (on behalf of George Dixon). This bout was for the vacant world featherweight title and was won by Dixon. The contract (8x13"), which is on onion skin, displays three horizontal folds, a large tear along the upper left border (paper loss), and several small edge and fold tears. Good condition overall. <strong>2-3) </strong>Pair of receipts signed, respectively by Tommy Kelly and Billy Plimmer. Each receipt, which is handwritten (in an unknown hand) on a one-page lined sheet, is dated May 10, 1892, which was the day after their bout at the Coney Island Athletic Club. (Plimmer defeated Kelly for the bantamweight title). Kelly received $300 as the loser, and Plimmer $1,700 as the winner. The Kelly receipt (5.75x9") displays two horizontal folds and a few small edge tears. VG. The Plimmer receipt (8x6") displays two horizontal folds, edge tears, and light staining. GD. <strong>4)</strong> One-page typed contract, dated "June 8th," for a bout between Solly Smith and Frank Patterson on June 22nd at the Eastern Athletic Club for a purse of $200. Signed by representatives for each fighter. Although no year is listed, research indicates that this bout took place in 1896, which was one year before Smith won the featherweight title. The document has completely split in half along a central horizontal fold and is otherwise GD. <strong style="font-size: 10pt;">5)</strong><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> One-page typed contract, dated May 2, 1892, appointing Arthur T. Lumley as General Agent for the Coney Island Athletic Club with regard to scheduling boxing matches and setting purses for all fights taking place under the club's auspices. Signed by Lumley and other club officials. 8x13". EX. </span><strong style="font-size: 10pt;">6) </strong><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Two-page handwritten letter, dated July 26, 1896, to Arthur Lumley from Jim Browne regarding bouts for his fighters. Signed by Browne 5.75x9". VG. </span><strong style="font-size: 10pt;">7)</strong><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> One-page handwritten letter, dated April 28, 1896, to Arthur Lumley from Charles Meyers of the Capital City Athletic Club. Signed by Meyers. This was the cover letter to an enclosed fight agreement and payment (neither of which accompany the letter). 8.5x5.5". GD. </span><strong style="font-size: 10pt;">8)</strong><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> Two-page handwritten fight contract, dated April 14, 1896, between Jack Downey and Larry Burns for a bout to take place on May 12th. Signed by both Downy and Burns, as well as witnesses. 8.5x10.75". FR-GD. </span><strong style="font-size: 10pt;">9) </strong><span style="font-size: 10pt;">One-page handwritten boxing contract, dated April 2, 1896, for about between Billy Gibbons and John Dougherty. Signed by both. 8x12.25". GD. </span><strong style="font-size: 10pt;">10)</strong><span style="font-size: 10pt;"> One-page handwritten boxing contract, dated May 23, 1892, in which W. Kenney agrees to fight Eddie Pierce on May 30th for a purse of $250. Signed by Kenney and his manager. 5.75x9". GD. <strong>11)</strong> One-page typed letter, dated May 18, 1934, to Arthur Lumley from James J. Johnston, who was the manager of boxing at Madison Square Garden at the time. Signed by Johnston. 8.5x11". EX.<br></span></p>
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