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WORLD'S LARGEST INFORMATION SOURCE FOR SPORTS DISPLAY ANTIQUES

 

 

 

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 Page 16 

THE MAY 2011  

BRIMFIELD 

ANTIQUES FAIR

By Carlton Hendricks

 

16 pages - 16,521 words - 33 photo pages

Pg. 1 Pg. 2 Pg. 3 Pg. 4 Pg. 5 Pg. 6 Pg. 7 Pg. 8
Pg. 9 Pg. 10 Pg. 11 Pg. 12 Pg. 13 Pg. 14 Pg. 15 Pg. 16

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Harvard Square and  University grounds

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Leavitt & Peirce 

Tobacco Shop

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Basketball Hall of
Fame, Springfield MA

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Harvard University Sports Trophies at Murr Center

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Yale Univ. Trophy Room
at Payne Whitney Gym

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Museum of 
Fine Arts Boston

1000 BRIMFIELD PHOTOS

 

 Part 5 

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YALE POLO MEMORABILA
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There was a heck of a bronze statue of two polo players on horses going for the ball, probably about 14" tall, looked 1930's...I don't know what the significance was, that is, if it was a trophy, it was partially covered up by other items in the case...but it was out there!....I'd sure liked to have examined it out of the case...But I could see it well enough to know I'd never seen it before...My first reaction was it looked like it was done by Herbert Haseltine....or maybe Frederick Roth....as it looked American. Phew, it was great! There was a flag on the wall behind it that said 1901. There was a pair of tan riding boots and a polo mallet in the same case along with a letterman's sweater and a Yale cap that said 25 on it...the whole case was extremely Ralph Lauren..except it was the real deal LOL.

 

SCULPTURE BY R. TAIT McKENZIE  
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There was a boat load of bronze sculptures by R. Tait McKenzie ...There was a shot putter, a discus thrower, and aPICT1786_1200x900.jpg (156867 bytes) huge diver overlooking the room, to name three...most were nudes which McKenzie was really into, which I wouldn't want in my collection if it were free...He's been called the sculptor of Athletes....he should be called the Sculptor of Nude Athletes he was so bent on them....OnslaughtBRonzeYaleStitch.jpg (169384 bytes)However, McKenzie did do a few clothed ones that were great...His greatest work was "The Onslaught" copyright 1911...a group of two football teams in a scrimmage...15 inches tall, 36" wide, 21 inches deep. He spent five years working on it. The Yale University Art Gallery has a bronze example which should be displayed right in the middle of the trophy room...I've never seen one in person but I've studied photos of it and it's definitely a contender for the finest football sculpture ever made. I've never seen another work with that many football players...I count at least ten...And at 36" wide I don't know of any football sculpture that big....it's an absolutely incredible work! I haven't any idea it's production...at that size I'd be surprised if a half dozen were cast ...Phew!!....take it from me...football statues don't get much better!

 

 

The Onslaught was part of a collection of sports art that was bestowed to Yale by Francis P. Garvin in 1930, which he named The Whitney Collection of FrancisPGarvin Titled.jpg (51186 bytes)Sporting art, after his two friends Payne Whitney, and Harry Payne Whitney. According to a 1994 article written by Mark Alden Branch the collection encompassed "49 paintings, 20 sculptures, and close to 900 prints". I saw on the description card that the afore mentioned Muller baseball statues were part of the Garvin collection...and I think many other bronzes in the Yale Trophy room are part of it as well. Probably most of the R. Tait McKenzie works were Garvin pieces. That collection is likely the world's finest of it's kind...at least for American sports art here in the United States...The British were so d'amored with their sports art, probably a better exists there...But for American art....I say all this as if I've seen it all, which I haven't...I know some of the works and can tell just from those. But Garvin and his Sporting art collection is a story for another time...

 

I honestly don't know about most of the things in the room...We're talking about 45 minutes tops that I was in there....that's why I shot fast and furious...I knew I just had a short time to capture it all...I live 3,000 miles away and there would be no coming back if I forgot something. 

 

A funny scenario went down during my visit...Duke told me at the beginning he was a little short on time...He let me shoot away for 20 or so minutes, then started gently saying I should probably start wrapping it up, he had stuff to do...OK I said....and then people started coming in with pizza's and stuff and setting up a luncheon...The gym staff was having a lunch and then a staff meeting afterwards right there in the Yale Trophy Room...Then Duke left to go do something and said I could stay a while longer so I was happy to get an extension...A couple of pizzas and a salad were spread out on the tables and it was a buffet....So there I was wandering around the room shooting away and their they all were chowing down oblivious to me....I felt a little odd but nothing was going to slow me down and I just kept shooting away. 

 

Earlier I had asked where Handsome Dan was....In the membership office I was told...Handsome Dan was/is a bull dog tinsx_1522x874.jpg (247757 bytes)and the school mascot...the first school mascot in the country back in 1890....They stuffed him and he's still with us so to speak...I'd heard about the stuffed Handsome Dan 20 or so years ago...that he was their in the gym....and their I was in the gym....so I wanted to see him...So as they were wrapping up their lunch and about ready for their meeting Brian DiNatale the membership coordinator found the most gracious way to give me the boot LOL....You can see Handsome Dan in my office he told me....and off I went for the finale of my visit...Below are the shots I took....

 

Yale's Mounted Original C1890

HANDSOME DAN

First College Mascot in United States

Displayed in Payne Whitney Gymnasium

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c1900 Handsome Dan Tobacco Tin

 

 

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...It was also in 1889 that Andrew B. Graves, '92 Sheffield, espied an animal in a New Haven blacksmith's shop that looked like a "cross between an alligator and a horned toad"

 

What kind of animal is that? he asked the blacksmith

 

"A bulldog" said the blacksmith.

 

Graves offered fifty dollars for the dog. The blacksmith wanted seventy-five dollars. They settled for sixty-five dollars and the blacksmith threw in a three-pound dog collar. Graves took the animal to his room, put him in a tub of warm water, and scrubbed him savagely for almost two hours. The bull dog made no protest. He seemed to realize he had come to the crossroads of his life. When Graves finally finished the scrubbing, he stood back and surveyed the result with surprise and delight. The bulldog was a beautiful brindle and white.

 

"Why, you're positively handsome, fellow." said Graves, patting him. "We'll call you Handsome. Handsome Dan. C'mon Handsome!"

 

Handsome Dan followed his master to classes, waited patiently outside the classrooms, and was his constant companion at Yale's football and baseball games. He seemed to understand sports. At least, he barked whenever Yale scored. This habit soon got him adopted as the official mascot.

 

After Graves graduated, Handsome Dan stayed on the campus with his master's brother and remained Yale's mascot until 1897, when he joined Graves in England. Mascoting was not his only claim to fame. He won first prize in the New York Dog Show and thirty other first prizes in America and Canada before he barked his last in 1898. Today he sits stuffed in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Fifty-odd years have passed since he last saw his favorite team. He inspired Cole Porter's Yale song, "Bulldog".

 

EXCERPT FROM "THE YALE FOOTBALL STORY"

BY TIM COHANE, 1951, PAGES 72 & 73

 

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Handsome Dan I
1889-1898 

 

When Princeton used to have a real tiger cub and Harvard always brought along, the "Orange Man" as a stand-in for Puritan John Harvard, Yale undergraduates thought they were due for a mascot and finally one came to Yale in 1889 in the custody of Andrew B. Graves, '92S (crew and football tackle) who, as an undergraduate, had seen the dog sitting in front of a shop and purchased him from a New Haven blacksmith for $5.00. The students dubbed him the "Yale mascot". He was always led across the field just before football and baseball games would begin. "In personal appearance, he seemed like a cross between an alligator and a horned frog, and he was called handsome by some," eulogized the Hartford Courant. "The title came to him, he never sought it. He was always taken to games on a leash, and the Harvard football team for years owed its continued existence to the fact that the rope held." The Philadelphia Press recalled that "a favorite trick was to tell him to 'Speak to Harvard.' He would bark ferociously and work himself into physical contortions of rage never before dreamed of by a dog. Dan was peculiar to himself in one thing - he would never associate with anyone but students. Dan implanted himself more firmly in the hearts of Yale students than any mascot had ever done before." 

"He was a big white bulldog", history relates, "with one of the greatest faces a dog of that breed (English) ever carried". Actually this magnificent specimen was one of the finest specimens of his breed in America, who went on to win hundreds of ribbons, many in competition with contenders from England. 

In 1897, Graves and Handsome Dan I set out for a trip around the world, according to the Yale Alumni Weekly. He died in 1898. His stuffed body long stood in the old Yale gymnasium. When it was torn down, he was sent to the Peabody Museum for reconstruction. He now is in a sealed glass case in one of the trophy rooms of Yale's Payne Whitney Gymnasium, where "he is the a perpetual guardian of the treasures which attest to generations of Yale athletic glory". (Stanton Ford) Andrew Graves died of tuberculosis, February 18, 1943, in Paris, France. 

 

YaleBulldogs.com

 

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END YALE TROPHIES FEATURE

 

 

After the viewing I headed out on a walk around the campus and downtown New Haven. I was a little taken back at the poverty around New Haven...within the first few blocks of the campus all was fine...but venture out a little further and it starts looking edgy...There was a light rain parlty thru my walk around but cleared up after a while. I went into a couple of the Yale souveneer shops...one was the end all...having everything Yale ever made....I picked up a Yale Cap...I then went thru the Chapel Street Old Campus area...then out to the downtown area...I spotted a very classic restaurant called the Union League Cafe...Sort of French, sort of American...I was getting hungry so decided to take a chance on it...

 

The following day was my last day in New England. Other than the three hour drive back to Boston I had the day free and couldn't decide how to spend it. I ended up driving to Newport Rhode Island...but didn't have much of the day left by the time I got there. So it was a quick visit to an antiques store and a little driving around. Had dinner at some seafood joint and it was back to Bedford and I flew home the next day.

 

Hope you enjoyed the trip. God bless!

 

 

- END -

 

 

 

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