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  • A STAG AT CHRISTIE’S

    Listed as one of the hundred greatest punchers of all time the career of Tom Sharkey – born in Dundalk in 1873 – is recalled in Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows at Christie’s. The lithograph from the collection of media and entertainment magnate Jerry Perenchio is among the lots at A California Life at Christie’s online until September 17. Tom Sharkey ran away from home, went to sea as a cabin boy and joined the US Navy aged 19.  He is credited with winning 40 fights and introducing boxing to the navy.  Known as Sailor Tom he fought twice with heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries. They became friends and business partners in Sharkeys, an athletic club on Columbus Avenue in New York.  In 1909, when this work was completed, prizefighting was illegal and saloons like this, which did a booming business, were the equivalent of Prohibition’s speakeasies. Fighters were known as stags. Bellows, whose studio was nearby, was a leading exponent of the Ashcan School, known for depicting scenes of daily life in New York city.Perenchio, who sold his Univision Communications for $13.5 billion in 2007, was the promoter of the 1971 title fight between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier, launched Elton John’s career in the US in 1970 and produced Driving Miss Daisy. He was a philanthropist whose bequest of European art masterworks will anchor the new permanent building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, set to open in 2023. His collection at two landmark sales now running online features European furniture and ceramics, prints, Old Master drawings, sculpture, Chinese ceramics and works of art, silver, carpets and memorabilia.

    A Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows ($60,000-$80,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $52,500.

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