One time world number one tennis player Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) is the focus of an online memorabilia auction, which is to close on February 6 and features the sports star's wisdom teeth. Ashe's two teeth, which are offered in a green velvet pouch aside 11 American coins, carry a $1,000 reserve.
Arthur Ashe was the first black man to win the US Open (1968) and Wimbledon (1975). Something of a tennis pioneer, Ashe's legendary play tore down barriers on court and, more widely, contributed positively to the black civil rights movement that was peaking in America during his career.
Born in South Africa, the high profile tennis ace rose to the pinnacle of sporting achievement, and, as auctioneer Nate D Sanders comments, "willingly became an ambassador to the next generation of black athletes."
An astonishing variety of memorabilia, including Ashe's passport, fur coat, cheque book, diaries and various trophies and awards are currently open to bids - a percentage of the proceeds of which will benefit the Arthur Ashe Learning Center.
Among the items for sale, Ashe's Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award (1992), which was bestowed upon Ashe in the final year of his life, has already garnered $3,146 in bids. Bearing the Sports Illustrated logo, the plaque attached to the trophy reads: "For Symbolising in Character and Performance / The Ideals of Sportsmanship".
Tennis memorabilia has proved popular at auction in the past, with a yellow ivory necklace worn by Ashe during his 1975 victory over Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon final bringing $13,200 at Sotheby's in 2005.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we currently have this Bjorn Borg signed photo in stock.
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