Boxing legend Muhammad Ali's rare collection of original artwork up for auction

  • Did you know American boxer Muhammad Ali loved to draw between fights? A 24-piece collection of his original cartoon style artworks, reflecting his interest in religion and social justice apart from him in the ring, go up for auction
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali's rare collection of original artwork up for auction(Instagram/bonhamspopularculture/muhammadali)
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali's rare collection of original artwork up for auction(Instagram/bonhamspopularculture/muhammadali)
Updated on Oct 03, 2021 07:09 PM IST
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By Zarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

On December 3, 2012, American boxing legend Muhammad Ali was crowned as the "King of Boxing" at the 50th Convention of the World Boxing Council in Cancun and rightly so as the former world heavyweight champion not only inspired budding sportspersons by being the greatest of all times but also inspired fans with his values outside the ring. However, did you know that he loved to draw between fights? 

A 24-piece collection of his original cartoon style artworks, reflecting his interest in religion and social justice apart from him in the ring, are up for auction. At the height of his career in 1964, he announced his conversion to Islam.

Fans have been set on frenzy, ever since his treasure trove of artwork was put on auction in New York since his passion for sketching after a fight or training, as a way of unwinding, is lesser known. Taking to their social media handle recently, auction house Bonhams Popular Culture announced about the auction named ‘It's A Knockout!’

They revealed, “On 5th October, Bonhams New York will offer rare and important artifacts relating to the history of boxing, baseball and other sports... The auction is highlighted by a collection of #MuhammadAli memorabilia from the Rodney Hilton Brown Collection, as well as a selection of pieces for baseball legends #BabeRuth, #JoeDiMaggio and #LouGehrig all part of the Jim & Theresa Sports Memorabilia Collection (sic).”

The presenters added, “Featured here are a pair of Muhammad Ali fight-worn #Everlast gloves from 1977. Estimate: $3000-5000 (sic).”

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In another post, a video of the compilation of Muhammad Ali's artworks was shared with the boxer's quote, “‘I am the greatest! I said that even before I knew I was.” It shared, “Bonhams is pleased to offer a rare collection of original artwork by the one and only, Muhammad Ali… To many, it may come as news to you that Ali was an artist all his life (sic).”

Ali's interest in sketching was nurtured by his father Cassius Clay Snr, a professional artist. Growing up, Ali continued to paint and draw informally on subjects closest to his heart including boxing, civil rights, world peace and humanitarianism. He later enlisted in art lessons from sports artist LeRoy Neiman. 

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His Black Jet painting, done in 1977 is expected to fetch US$ 15,000 - 20,000 or INR 1,100,000 - 1,500,000, Sunset with Tree of Life drawn in the same year is expected to fetch US$ 15,000 - 20,000 or INR 1,100,000 - 1,500,000 and Moon Over Mountains, also painted in the same year, is expected to fetch US$ 15,000 - 20,000 or INR 1,100,000 - 1,500,000. 

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Same goes for the rest of the other 21 artworks.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021