'Godfather' of surfing's signed handprints to sell for $12k

An amazing collection of surfing artefacts and memorabilia is set to go under the hammer at Bonham's on October 19.

The items will be part of the auctioneers' 525-lot Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, and cover the history of surfing from its indigenous Hawaiian origins to the present day.

Highlights from the sale will include the signed framed handprints of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, aka the "Godfather of surfing", estimated at $8,000-12,000.

The "Duke" was an surfing icon, famed for riding a wave for over one mile at Waikiki Beach in 1929. It remains the longest-ever recorded ride.

He also broke multiple swimming records through victories in the Olympics of 1912-20, thanks to his strong hands.

Duke Kahanamoku
Godfather: "Duke" Kahanamoku

The Duke's handprints measure an incredible nine-inches long, and six-inches wide.

Elsewhere, a presentation first-edition copy of the first definitive book on Surfing, Tom Blake's The Hawaiian Surfboard, will go under the hammer at $3,000-5,000.

And a "passport-style" invitation, embroidered patch and signed poster commemorating big-wave pioneer Rick Grigg's win in the 1967 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surf Championship is estimated at $2,000-3,000.

Earlier this year, $14,000 was paid for Duke's family photo album at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Auction.

It sold alongside a 1950 foam sandwich board rode by the surfing legend Bob Simmons, which sold for $40,000.

The last Bonham's Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, in London on October 9, featured a number of early continental books and important scientific works.

Highlights incldued "Commentarii in libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de medica materia" (first published in 1554) by the renowned Italian professor of philosophy and medicine, Mattiolo Mattioli, which sold for £54,000.

The second highest selling lot was 17th century theologian Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet's "Grands oraisons funèbres", a complete set of 6 works bound with 11 others in two volumes, for £48,000.

The next auction will be held on October 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, with previews between October 16-18.


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