Sam Snead’s 1946 British Open Trophy Makes $262,900 In Heritage Auction

The Sam Snead Collection, consigned to auction by the son of the golf legend, electrified the audience at Heritage’s Aug. 1 Platinum Night Sports Auction from the first drop of the gavel, as Snead’s 1946 British Open Claret Jug soared out of the gate with a $262,900 price realized to lead the $4.5+ million event.

1946 British Open TrophyThe first section of The Snead Collection saw record-breaking prices that pushed the night’s tally past $1.1M after just 14 lots of the 166 total lots offered in both the live auction and the non-floor session on Aug. 2.

“Our marketing department really came through for us with this collection,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports at Heritage Auctions. “We knew that the key to great prices for the Snead Collection was to blanket the golf press with news of the sale, and we now know effective that campaign has been.”

No fewer than four lots from the Snead Collection garnered six-figure results, the highest reserved for Snead’s Claret Jug, as mentioned above. Snead’s 1954 Masters Championship trophy trailed close behind at $191,200. Part Two of The Sam Snead Collection will appear in a specifically dedicated Sam Snead auction at Heritage on Nov. 22, 2013.

Challenging Snead for Platinum Night supremacy was a trio of game worn caps worn by the iconic Hall of Fame duo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The Iron Horse’s early 1930s Yankees model commanded a record $239,000, one of the highest prices ever paid for a baseball cap at auction.

Caps worn by Babe Ruth on his famous 1927-28 barnstorming tour with Gehrig and during his final season as a player with the Boston Braves commanded $155,350 and $143,400, respectively, each a record for a Ruth cap without Yankees provenance.

Heritage posted its fourth six-figure result for a LeRoy Neiman original in as many years on Platinum Night, as a 1973 portrait of Babe Ruth soared to a dizzying $167,300 in fierce bidding.

An exceedingly rare collegiate uniform worn by a young Julius “Dr. J” Erving at the University of Massachusetts brought out the top basketball collectors in the hobby and lightened the wallet of the winning bidder to the tune of $86,638 after a lengthy bidding battle. Sparks flew again as hockey collectors competed for the jersey worn by Bob Nystrom as he netted the 1980 Stanley Cup-winning goal. The hammer fell at a price of $44,813.