Auction to feature Floyd Patterson awards & memorabilia

boxing @The Carlsen Gallery in Freehold will hold its annual Midwinter Auction on Sunday, February 2 at 10:30 a.m. An auction preview will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, January 30 and 31 and February 1 from 12 noon to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, February 2 from 8 until 10:30 a.m., when the sale commences.

Along with a variety of estate jewelry, Oriental carpets, furniture and decorative accessories from several homes and collections, including a Hudson riverside Federal home in Rensselaer and property from a collector in Delmar and in Laconia, New Hampshire, the auction will include items from the estate of Floyd Patterson, Olympic gold medalist, former heavyweight boxing champion of the world and longtime resident of New Paltz.

Patterson died in May of 2006 at the age of 71, following complications of prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. In a New York Times obituary, Patterson was memorialized as “a good guy in the bad world of boxing.” Sports columnist Red Smith called him “the man of peace who loves to fight.”

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He’s remembered fondly in New Paltz by those who knew him as a neighbor who was generous with the community. Patterson had a reputation for championing causes that benefited underprivileged youth, as befit his own origins and his initial arrival in the Hudson Valley as a student at the Wiltwyck School in Esopus – a kind of reform school for emotionally disturbed boys. He arrived there not knowing how to read or write, and unwilling to talk to people. But his new teachers taught him to read, and encouraged him to take up boxing.

Patterson developed a unique style, holding his gloves high in front of his face and springing forward with unexpected hooks, catching many opponents off-guard. In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, he won the middleweight gold medal with five knockouts in five bouts. Four years later, then a professional, he knocked out Archie Moore on November 30, 1956, and the 21-year-old Patterson became the youngest world heavyweight champion in history.

His reign lasted almost five years, during which he won the world heavyweight championship twice. When he recaptured the title in 1960 after a brief loss, it marked the first time that a boxer had ever made a successful comeback for the world heavyweight title.

After Patterson retired in 1972, he became a respected spokesman for his sport. He was a member of the New York State Athletic Commission and later its chairman, leading a successful campaign to have the state mandate thumbless gloves that reduce eye injuries. Patterson was voted into the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame in 1987 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

All of the items to be available in the auction are viewable online at the Carlsen Gallery’s website, www.carlsengallery.com. Items from Patterson’s estate include a pair of Golden Gloves autographed by Joe Frazier, estimated to sell from $200 to $400 (item #204); a collection of 11 photographs of Patterson with Archie Moore, Jimmy Ellis and Cassius Clay, estimated at $100 to $300 (item #313); a bronze Bob Hope Sports Award to Patterson from 1960, estimated at $300 to $500 (item #90); and a Rocky Marciano Trophy award to Patterson in 1978, estimated at $500 to $1,500 (item #94), along with other various memorabilia, trophies and awards.

The Carlsen Gallery is accessible from Exit 21 off the Thruway. A fully illustrated catalogue is available online. For those who cannot make it to the gallery, absentee, telephone and Internet bidding are also accepted in advance of the sale, although these arrangements must be made in advance. A 15 percent buyer’s premium is charged on all purchases.

Midwinter Auction, Sunday, February 2, 10:30 a.m., 9931 State Route 32, Freehold; (518) 634-2466, info@carlsengallery.com, www.carlsengallery.com.

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