Austin Auction Gallery will offer an extraordinary sterling silver tea and coffee service from Baseball Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (1880-1925), at its May 3 auction. Mathewson was presented the service as a gift in 1917.
Also to be offered at this unprecedented sale is a high karat gold-mounted Saudi Arabian ceremonial sword from the private collection of legendary University of Texas football coach Darrell K Royal (1924-2012).
According to the estate of Christy Mathewson Jr., who was killed in a home explosion, the sterling silver tea and coffee service is one of only a few surviving baseball memorabilia in the family. The service tray is engraved ”Presented to Christy ‘Matthewson’ by his New York Friends, May 12th 1917″ and is in the “Plymouth” pattern by Reed and Barton. On that day the Cincinnati Reds played his previous team, the New York Giants.
Mathewson, one of baseball’s all-time greatest pitchers, played 17 seasons with the New York Giants before becoming player/manager for the Cincinnati Reds in 1916. Mathewson was one of the initial inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. The seven-piece set carries a presale estimate of $12,000-$18,000. It was discovered among a collection of silver from the estate of American painter Michael Frary (1918-2005), a relation to Mathewson by marriage, and whose name is well-known among art circles in Austin.
The Saudi Arabian sword was presented in the early 1980s to Coach and Mrs. Royal by Dr. Nasser Al-Rashid, University of Texas Ph.D. graduate, founder of Rashid Engineering and adviser to the Saudi Arabia Royal Family. The opulent gold scabbard is engraved with the emblem of Saudi Arabia and foliated vines. It is inscribed with the signature of Ahmad bin Ebrahim Badr (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, 1920-2009), the noted Arabian goldsmith commissioned by the King of Saudi Arabia to recreate the solid
gold doors to the Kaaba in Mecca. The steel blade of the sword is marked on the spine “Made in England 1782.” Saudi Arabia one guinea coins are suspended from gold chains on both scabbard and hilt. The whole ensemble is in a custom presentation case and is accompanied by a hand written descriptive letter from Dr. Al-Rashid. It carries a conservative estimate of $25,000-$35,000.The sword has been stored in a museum vault at the University of Texas at Austin campus for 27 years and has never been
For more information, visit Austin Auction Gallery website at www.austinauction.com or call (512) 258-5479. The live auction will be held at 8414 Anderson Mill Rd., Austin, TX, 78729. Online, absentee and telephone bidding are available.