Lot 1038: Large original bust of Thorpe with a lovely bronze-like finish, measuring approximately 14 x 16 atop a 10 x 10 x 6 base, with a plaque affixed to the front which begins, "Jim Thorpe, Native American Indian, The Greatest Athlete of the Century." Bust is signed in the mold by well-known Oklahoma artist Andrew M. Lester, and bears a truly remarkable resemblance to the storied athlete. Jim Thorpe was not only one of the greatest Olympians in history, but also a Major League Baseball player and founding player and member of the National Football League. The bronzed bust is accompanied by an impressive binder full of associated material, including correspondence between Raleigh DeGeer Amyx and artist Andrew Lester, with Lester answering an incredibly detailed four-page questionnaire from Mr. Amyx recounting his meeting with Thorpe, the techniques used in creating the bust, and information on his artistic career. Also included is correspondence between Mr. Amyx and Thorpe's granddaughter Gail, as well as information on Lester, photos of the bust, and photos and photocopied newspaper articles on Thorpe's major athletic accomplishments.
Andrew Lester and Jim Thorpe first met at a Sears store in Oklahoma City in 1932. The violent weather outside prevented a large crowd, and Lester and Thorpe spent over two hours alone, the latter remarking at one point, 'I know you will make a bust of me.' The original bronze bust was made in 1972 for Lester's one-man show which debuted in 1976, and was later donated to the Miwok Mountain Tribe near Yosemite Park. The bust offered here was originally intended to be presented to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill for permanent display in the US Capitol by Thorpe's son, Carl Thorpe (who lived within one mile of Raleigh DeGeer Amyx and served President Ronald Reagan in the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington). However, Carl's sudden death prevented the delivery of this original signed bust to the Capitol. A truly remarkable piece of art, paying tribute to one of the greatest athletes of all time. Oversized.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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