Once upon a time in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, young Gordie's mother scraped together enough money to buy a second-hand pair of skates—one apiece for him and his sister to share. In 1991, for Simon Art's Celebrity Editions series, James Lumbers paid tribute to these humble beginnings with this 24x20 lithograph (#6332/9999, framed to 31x27), which is here accompanied by the rare accoutrements of a 17x11 laminated pictorial pamphlet (featuring Howe's red-ink "9" signature) and a unique 33x11 retail advertising sign (framed slightly larger). All are Near Mint. "My first skates were truly the beginning of a life-long career dedicated to the sport of hockey," Howe says in the pamphlet text. "It was my mother's kindness to someone in need and to her children that gave me the gift of everlasting love for my sport. Jim Lumbers vividly captures that unforgettable moment and memory in my life." Auction LOA from JSA.
Frames included with lots: while we make every effort to protect the frames included in these lots during pre-auction storage and post-auction shipping, we are not responsible for any damage to the frames themselves, and no refunds will be given due to frame damage.
“Mr. Hockey” Collection Intro
There has never been—and never will be—another Gordie Howe. And not just in hockey but in all of professional sports. He’s a true-blue original who combined the raw talent and Golden Boy mystique of Mickey Mantle, with the guts and grit of Johnny Unitas, with the dazzling versatility of Oscar Robertson, with the age-defying longevity of George Foreman. He was John Wayne on the ice.
Idol of Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky, both of whom declared him the best ever, Mr. Hockey was a Red Wing star before either of them were even born…and he was still skating in the pros when Bobby retired and the Great One debuted. What’s more, “Old Elbows” never lost his famed fierceness and tenacity. Here was a legend who spawned the term “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” (goal, assist and fight) and whose injuries included over 300 stitches; a fractured skull; and broken ribs, wrist and toes. All in all, Howe suited up 2,421 times during 32 pro seasons in 5 different decades, capturing 6 MVP awards and 4 Stanley Cup championships. But of all his myriad achievements, Mr. Hockey has always said that the single greatest thrill of his unparalleled career was playing alongside sons Mark and Marty for 5 seasons in the WHA. And that should tell you everything you need to know about the man himself: For all his ferocity in the rink, Gordie Howe is a devoted family man, a humble hero, a class act, a kind and generous soul with a heart of gold.
Over the past half-century, one Detroit-born die-hard fan has followed Howe’s life and times as closely as anyone and has amassed arguably the premier Howe collection in terms of depth and breadth. It is no exaggeration—indeed, it’s practically an understatement—to say that our consignor has endeavored to collect every last souvenir under the sun featuring Gordie’s name or image. Cards, magazines, programs, scorecards, tickets, buttons, posters, banners, pennants, advertising, endorsed items, limited-edition prints, calendars, photos, artworks, sculptures, game-used equipment, board games, autographs, retirement mementos—this and more is being presented over several H&S auctions. And so, following up on our August auction highlights of Howe’s ultra-rare 1952 Royal Desserts card and his 1960s Red Wings game-used stick, we now offer the second installment of the vast, special “Mr. Hockey” Collection.