Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Occupational Shaving Mugs: Boxers

This double shaving mug belonging to John L. Sullivan, Prizefighter, porcelain with gilt lettering and banding: John L. Sullivan World's Champion Heavyweight in Old English lettering; verso with the inscription Presented by Robt. J. Kideney Buffalo, NY in script (Kideney was the developer of Wildroot Hair Tonic). Underside of one cup bearing a hand-painted monogram (possibly the presenter's) with the year _9; other cup having a partially legible Buffalo NY maker's mark. - From Prices4Antiques

On July 8, 1889, an estimated 3000 spectators boarded special trains for the secret location, which turned out to be Richburg, a town just south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The fight began at 10:30 the following morning, and it looked as if Sullivan was going to lose, especially after he vomited during the 44th round. But the champion got his second wind after that, and Kilrain's manager finally threw in the towel after the 75th round. - From Wikipedia: John L.Sullivan

A top entry is the boxing-themed personal shaving mug of Charles Hitte, a celebrated turn of the 20th century pugilist who died tragically and ironically of a non-boxing-related injury. In a New York Times report published Jan. 19, 1905, Hitte's throat was cut by one Joe Gosha, a knife-wielding oyster opener with whom he had quarreled outside a hotel in downtown Albany. The Hitte shaving mug is unquestionably authentic, said Morphy. “We have an old photo of the mug, which appeared on the cover of Ringside magazine in the 1950s,” he said. Sold for $7000.00. - From Antiques and the Arts

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This mug belonged to Thomas Sharkey, a world famous boxer circa 1900. He fought in 2 world championship fights! Green wrap, Felda Germany mark on bottom. Sold for $4000. - From W. Yoder Auctions

"Sailor" Tom Sharkey (November 26, 1873 - April 17, 1953) was a boxer who fought two fights with heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries. Sharkey's recorded ring career spanned from 1893 to 1904. He is credited with having won 40 fights (with 37 KOs), 7 losses , and 5 draws. Sharkey was named to the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. - From Wikipedia: Thomas Sharkey

Champion Boxer/ Wrestler's Occupational Shaving Mug with Photographic Transfer, porcelain with polychrome floral surround and a photographic transfer of fighter and wrestler Harry Israel, whose name is represented in gilt. Written document with mug states that Israel was from Cincinnati and fought "all over the Midwest," encountering the likes of famous fighters as Sullivan and McCoy, though apparently not in an "official" match up. Israel's widow also had a medal "Israel vs Smith" for "mixed wrestling" and dated "July 4, 93" (not included). When he wasn't fighting, Israel reportedly owned a saloon on Vine & McMillan Streets in Cincinnati. Mug with maker's mark T & V Limoges, France and decorator's mark Fred Dolle. - From Live Auctioneers


New Jersey Prizefighter's Occupational Shaving Mug, porcelain with polychrome painted scene with two boxers engaged in a fight, and a donkey kicking its hind legs upward on the side of Billy C. Duncan, whose name is written in gilt. According to a document accompanying the mug, Duncan was a prizefighter and semi-professional baseball player from Mountain View, who died in 1974. Marked Felda China, Germany. - From Live Auctioneers