The world’s most extensive collection of Wayne Gretzky memorabilia is now history. Parted out in an auction that closed early Wednesday morning, the group of items owned by Shawn Chaulk sold for just under $550,000.
Much of that total was wrapped up in the jersey Gretzky was wearing when he scored his 500th goal and during the Stanley Cup that same year. It generated 29 bids via Classic Auctions and sold for $356,000 including the 20% buyer’s premium. Gretzky’s 500th goal puck brought nearly $27,000.
"It was a lot of fun," Chaulk told TSN. "I thought maybe the jersey might go higher, as did most people in the hobby.”
Shed no tears, though. Chaulk has much more where all of this came from. In fact, he’s been selling some of the items off privately while the auction has been going on. He says he sold five items alone for over $100,000.
This week’s auction was only for Phase 1 of Chaulk’s mammoth collection of hockey memorabilia, not all of which is devoted to Gretzky’s career.
“I met him a bunch of times,” Chaulk says of The Great One, who he came to know after his devotion became public. “My memories I’ll always have.”
Some collectors passed up bargains before Chaulk decided to send items to auction. He told one media outlet he offered a Gretzky equipment bag to one collector for $2,000. He passed and it sold for $10,000.
The 45-year-old native of Newfoundland is a construction contractor now living in Alberta. He told CTV News early Wednesday morning the large amount of attention he’s gotten since the auction opened last month has been “an absolute blast”.
Some of the funds will pay for the college education of his three children.
A second auction of Chaulk's collection is forthcoming.