News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - New York, New York, December 10, 2005 – Today, in a full salesroom, Sotheby’s and SCP Auctions sold the original plaster cast of the Heisman trophy sculpture from 1935, used as the model for the most famous and significant individual award in college football and the most magnificent trophy in sports, for $228,000 in an auction of Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards. Voted on by more than 1,000 sportswriters and announced every December in New York City, the Heisman trophy has been awarded annually for seventy years, and the winner of the 71st
Heisman Trophy will be announced this evening. The cast was consigned directly from the family of the artist, Frank Eliscu, who completed it at the age of 23 in 1935.
Lee Dunbar, Director of Sotheby’s Collectibles department, said. “This is the first time there will be two Heisman winners in one day. The Heisman is the most recognizable trophy in sports and I think the spirited bidding reflects the esteem in which this trophy is held.”
David Kohler, President of SCP Auctions, continued, “We were proud to have offered this important sports sculpture the same day that the 2005 Heisman trophy will be presented.”
Members of the Downtown Athletic Club originally conceived the idea of an annual award to honor the most outstanding college football player. Artist Frank Eliscu, a then 23 year-old New York native who had recently won the National Academy Prize, was commissioned for the work. Ed Smith, a leading player on the 1934 New York University football team, assisted Eliscu as his model. After preliminary sketches of the statue, the DAC suggested that the artist move the outstretched arm to the side, as it would be more natural in how a runner would push away a tackler. Eliscu’s finished product was used to create the mold for the bronze trophy that is handed out each year. He was paid $200 for his work.
Today the trophy is an icon in the world of sports. The first award of the DAC Trophy was made on Dec. 9, 1935 to Jay Berwanger of Chicago. Following John W. Heisman's death in 1936, the DAC Trophy was renamed the Heisman Memorial Trophy. The first DAC director, Heisman is credited with effecting more change in the game's development than anyone else, including the advent of the forward pass.
In addition to the Heisman Trophy sculpture, Eliscu, who passed away in 1990, compiled a prominent list of works throughout his career, including the creation of President Gerald Ford's inaugural medal and a state gift for the late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. His “Cascade of Books” is mounted on the front of the James Madison Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
OTHER SALE HIGHLIGHTS
Important and Rare Baseball Card “Finds”
Dating from the very beginning of professional baseball, a recently-discovered and rare group of (8) Autographed 1871/72 Boston Red Stocking Cabinet Cards from Warren Studios including Al
Spalding and Harry Wright sold for $120,000, twice their high estimate,