Chiparus Hurdler Statue
....What's starting to sink in now is that Peter Ueberroth not only served as the sixth Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1984 to 1989....but was also President and Chief
Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for staging and operating the 1984 Games,....
his c1920 19 inch tall statue of a hurdler was sculpted by Demetre
Chiparus, a huge name in Art Deco sculpture…The statue was cast in France and
likely sculpted there. I purchased it on eBay March 29th 2013 for
$850.00. It had a "Buy It Now" price of $1,500.00 with a
"Or Best Offer" option. I offered $850.00 expecting some
arm wrestling but the seller took my first offer. I had
anticipated a reply with a $1,200.00 counter offer....and I in
turn would re-counter with $1,000.00 and they would accept...But
none of that went down and I nailed it on the first pitch!
I suppose I'd have
gone the $1,500.00 if I had to. As rare and great as it is I'd
have probably been compelled to get it hook or crook!
only seen three examples of this statue in 25+ years collecting.
It's rarity, art quality, and 19" height, should make it
worth way more than $1,500.00; at least in my opinion. In reality
though in this current "second Obama term economy" which
appears heading straight over Niagara Falls...hard to say what
it's value is right now. Because I look for antique sports
sculpture constantly I probably understand how rare it is better
than anyone...I've never seen another statue of a hurdler this
big....and it may well be the finest work of the subject ever
produced...Matter fact I don't ever recall seeing any statue of a
hurdler before, other than this one.
Shipping was $90.00 and the seller lived in Encinitas CA, near San Diego…She sets up at the Rose Bowl flea in Pasadena regularly….so to avoid any chance of damage in shipment I drove 7 hours (one way/14 hours round trip) and met her there at the Rose Bowl and picked it up in person…Although it ran me $200.00 in gas and $100.00 for a hotel room it was well worth it to make sure it got to me safe. Besides that I always enjoy going to the Rose Bowl anyway so it was a fun
get-away trip. Even though I didn’t see much…more about that
The eBay listing description said it once had a “tag” that said "From the Dames De Champagne to Peter Ueberroth for his assistance with the Olympics"….but that the tag had been lost….
After setting up the rendezvous to pick it up the seller said she would look for the “tag”…When I went to pick it up she had found it!!....only it wasn't a paper tag like I expected....but an engraved metal plate...didn’t say Olympics but did say Peter Ueberroth…the Los Angeles Dames De Champagne appears to be a group of ladies who put on charity events…Sounds like wealthy socialite trophy wives….typically probably all belong to the exclusive Cal Club in Los Angeles….Seller said got it from a lady who worked for Ueberroth…I speculate Ueberroth’s wife probably wanted it out of the house and he gave it to an employee…eBay seller said she bought it about 20 years ago at the “employee’s” garage sale…eBay seller said she was recently cleaning out a storage area and came across it and put it on eBay.
And from that long bumpy road it fell into the hands of probably the most appreciative person it could have gone to….me!...Carlton is a very happy camper…
I saw one of these in Woodchuck Antiques in San Francisco about 15 years ago…I couldn’t afford it but never forgot it…years later I told the dealer Chuck Morgenstern I wish I’d have
bought it. He said the person who did buy it may sell it someday…I told him to let me know if it became available…and for the last few years I would bring it up to remind him…Interestingly the one Chuck had was in the exact same condition…in that the patina had worn off like mine…which
is very typical of these French, spelter cast statues.
4ft wide, "The High Hurdles" by Hibbard V.B. Kline
The statue goes perfect with my 4ft wide print "The High Hurdles" by Hibbard
V.B. Kline....which I picked up at the 2007 National from Kevin
What's starting to sink in now is that Peter Ueberroth not only served as the sixth Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1984 to 1989....but was also President and Chief
Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for staging and operating the 1984
Games. He holds a place in
Olympic history nearly as influential as Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics...see Peter Ueberroth's bio below.
Another interesting aspect is that Peter Ueberroth used to come to the hotel I work at for a celebrity golf tournament...the same one Joe DiMaggio used to come
to....which I wrote
about....It's been a long time but I seem to recall delivering a fax or message to him at his room...I think I remember him coming to the door and me handing it to him...Too bad we didn't
just cut to the chase right then...he could have gave me the statue right there and cut out all the middle men!
BIOGRAPHY OF PETER UEBERROTH, from baseball-almanac.com
Unlike several other commissioners, Peter Ueberroth had an extensive background in both professional and international sports. After lettering in football, baseball and swimming, he was accepted to San Jose State University on an athletic scholarship and lettered in water polo. In 1956, he tried out for the United States Olympic team but was unable to make the cut. Disappointed, he returned to school and completed his education in 1959 with a degree in business. Following his graduation, Ueberroth went on to the travel industry and eventually became a vice president and shareholder in Trans International Airlines at the tender age of twenty-two. He continued to excel at Trans International until 1963 when he founded his own travel company, First Travel Corporation that he later sold in 1980 when it was the second largest travel business in North America.
Always an athlete at heart, Ueberroth went on to serve as President and Chief Eexecutive Officer of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for staging and operating the 1984 Games. A tremendously successful planner, his management led to a post-event surplus of nearly $250 million, which was used to support national youth sports activities.
In 1984, during a huge Major League Baseball labor conflict (in which the Umpires Union threatened to strike the post-season) Ueberroth was elected commissioner by a unanimous vote of the twenty-six club owners. Immediately after taking office, he was able to arbitrate the disagreement and had the umpires back to work before the League Championship Series had ended. He was also able to act behind the scenes to limit a players' strike to one day before a new labor agreement was worked out with the Players Association.
Before leaving office, Ueberroth was able to compile an amazing legacy in which he was able to establish greater awareness of crowd control and alcohol management within ballparks, a successful and vigilant anti-drug campaign, an ever-increasing attendance record and Major League Baseball's first profitable year since 1973. His last task was the negotiation and agreement of a whopping four-year, $1.1 billion contract with CBS, and a four-year $400 million national cable deal with ESPN. Deciding not to seek a second term, Ueberroth helped promote the election of his replacement, A. Bartlett Giamatti.
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WONDERFUL ART DECO FRENCH SCULPTURE is in great condition, patina is what it is, I have never polished it in the many years I have owned it. It has a losenge on the back that reads FABRICATION FRANCAISE PARIS MADE IN FRANCE, it measures 20" tall, is very heavy and well made, not sure of age, but has some for sure. GREAT male figure, unusual and impressive movement and detail. I have owned this statue for 15 plus years, I purchased it from a lady who had worked for Peter Ueberroth, these was a tag that said "From the Dames De Champagne to Peter Ueberroth for his assistance with the Olympics", I have lost the tag.
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