Friday, 10 March 2017

I Muse...on Slania's Boxers

Silence. Suddenly lights flare to life, illuminating the battle arena. The spectators crowded around the boxing ring erupt in frenzied cheers and shouts. The gladiators stare at each other from opposite corners of the arena, their eyes seething with battle-lust. Then a man steps into the ring. The announcer. Grabbing the microphone dangling from a long wire before him, he takes a deep breath...

"L-l-let's get ready to rumble!" he shouts. Then leaves.

The crowd goes ballistic! The bell rings. The fight is on...

***

Anyone who is a fan of Czeslaw Slania probably knows that he was a huge boxing fan. So much so that hen produced a set of 23 engravings in postage stamp format of World Champion Boxers. These stamps were printed in 1964 and they are true masterpieces, each and every one. So without further ado, let us feast our eyes on some truly glorious engraved portraits.

John Lawrence "Boston Strong Boy" Sullivan
Born in Boston 1858
Defeated Jake Kilrain in 1889
Record: 40-1-2


James John "Gentleman Jim" Corbett
Born in San Francois 1866
Defeated John L. Sullivan in 1892
Record: 11-4-3

Robert James "Bob" Fitzsimmons
Born in Cornwall, UK, 1863
Defeated James J. Corbett in 1897
Record: 63-8-4


James Jackson "The Boilermaker" Jeffries
Born in Ohio USA, 1875
Defeated Robert J. Fitzsimmons in 1899
Record: 19-1-2


Tommy "The Little Giant of Hanover" Burns
Born in Ontario, Canada 1881
Defeated Marvin Hart in 1906
Record: 48-5-8


John Arthur "Galveston Giant" Johnson
Born in Texas, USA 1878
Defeated Denver Ed Martin in 1908
Record: 73-13-10


Jess Myron "Great White Hope" Willard
Born in Kansas, USA 1881
Defeated Jack Johnson in 1915
Record: 28-6-1


William Harrison "Kid Blackie" Dempsey
Born in Colorado, USA 1895
Defeated Jess Willard in 1919
Record: 54-6-9


James Joseph "The Fighting Marine" Tunney
Born in New York, USA 1897
Defeated Jack Dempsey 1926
Record: 55-1-1


Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried "Max" Schmeling
Born in Pomerania, Germany 1905
Defeated Jack Sharkey in 1930
Record: 56-10-4

Jack "Sharkboy" Sharkey (real name: Joseph Paul Zukauskas)
Born in New York, USA 1902
Defeated Max Schmeling 1932
Record: 38-14-3


Primo "Ambling Alp" Carnera
Born in Sequals., Italy 1906
Defeated Jack Sharkey 1933
Record: 89-14-0


Maximilian Adelbert "Max" Baer
Born in Nebraska, USA 1909
Defeated Primo Carnera 1934
Record: 68-13-0


James Walter "Cinderella Man" Braddock
Born in New York City, USA 1905
Defeated Max Baer 1935
Record: 50-26-7


Joseph Louis "Brown Bomber" Barrow
Born in Alabama, USA 1914
Defeated James J. Braddock in 1937
Record: 66-3-0


Ezzard Mac "Cincinnati Cobra" Charles
Born in Illinois, USA 1921
Defeated Jersey Joe Walcott 1949
Record: 93-25-1


Arnold Raymond "Jersey Joe Walcott" Cream
Born in New Jersey, USA 1914
Defeated Ezzard Charles 1951
Record: 51-18-2


Rocco Francis "Rocky" Marchegiano
Born in Massachusetts, USA 1923
Defeated Jersey Joe Walcott 1952
Record: 49-0-0


Floyd "The Gentleman of Boxing" Patterson
Born in North Carolina, USA 1935
Defeated Archie Moore 1956
Record: 55-8-1


Jens Ingemar "The Hammer of Thor" Johansson
Born in Gothenburg, Sweden 1932
Defeateed Floyd Patterson 1959
Record: 26-2-0


Floyd "The Gentleman of Boxing" Patterson
Born in North Carolina, USA 1935
Defeated Ingemar Johansson 1960
Record: 55-8-1


Charles L. "Sonny" Liston
Born in Arkansas, USA Unknown
Defeated Floyd Patterson 1962
Record: 50-4-0


Cassius Clay AKA Muhammad Ali
Born in Kentucky, USA 1942
Defeated Sonny Liston 1964
Record: 56-5-0

Incidentally, if we turn our attention back to stamp one, of John L. Sullivan, one notices he fought bare-knuckled. Slania actually used his own hands as models for the engraving.


As a final note, I'd like to thank Roos Philately for the excellent images. I can't wait to acquire this set myself.

Until next time...

Stay Slania Crazy!

3 comments:

  1. comme toujours , très beau boulot Matt ! je vais partager avec mes potes !

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  2. I have this set. What is it worth please?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alan,
      Since this isn't a catalogued item, I can only go by what people are selling it for over eBay and Delcampe. That said, the going price at the moment seems to be between $30-40 US. Hope that helps.

      Cheers
      Matt

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