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Ted Williams Memorabilia Auction Set

Part II of Ted’s ex-wife’s estate is much better than part one.

The second half of two auctions being held to liquidate the living estate of Dolores Wettach Williams – the former high-fashion model, actress and third wife of Hall of Fame baseball legend Ted Williams – will be sold at auction next month.

The sale will take place on Saturday, May 30, at Knotty Pine Auctions in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Part One of the sale consisted of only a couple of sports-related pieces, but the second part will include piedes entering the memorabilia market for the first time.

The sale will feature personal effects, ephemera, photos, correspondence and memorabilia items relating to the couple, their family life and the storied careers of both Dolores and Ted Williams.

Delores Wettach Williams shared the home with Ted Williams during their six years of marriage, from 1967-1973. Lots will include items from his playing and coaching careers, and post-career items.

Among the lots are Williams autographed bats and balls as well as signed pieces from numerous other Hall of Fame players, obtained by Ted and family at various Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. A Red Sox team-signed baseball from the late 1960s along with jackets, shirts and hats and a large group of publicity photos, many showing Williams and other major sports figures of the day, some of them signed.

Military items will include a U.S. Marines plaque and a VFW Gold Medal of Merit Award. Books will include hunting and fishing books owned and signed by Ted, and a copy of his book The Science of Hitting, inscribed “Property of Ted Williams.” Many of the books had been presented by various authors to Williams, with signed presentations. Many have notes on the pages handwritten by the Hall of Famer.

Original artwork will include an original acrylic on Masonite painting of Williams at bat, in the manner of LeRoy Neiman and dated 1960; a mixed media rendering by Robert Thompkins Handville; a pen-and-ink cartoon by legendary sports illustrator Willard Mullin, featuring Williams; a mixed media work of Williams executed in 1988 by the artist Neal Portnoy; an enlargement of an original photo of Ted by noted photographer Edward Sorel; and other pieces, many inscribed to Williams.

Additional lots will include a handwritten letter from President Richard Nixon, congratulating him on being named manager of the Washington Senators in 1969; gifts and other items presented to and from Williams; a highway sign from the Mass. Department of Public Works, reading “Ted Williams Highway;” and his personal jacket from the Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville, Mass.

Also offered will be letters exchanged between Dolores and Ted – before, during and after their marriage; postcards from Ted (often signed “#9” or with some other code, to guard against their theft); a rare, original 16mm film of Ted giving hitting instructions; gift items to and from Ted; items from sports celebrities; endorsement items (from Sears, etc.); Ted Williams model golf clubs and bag; handwritten speeches by Ted; handwritten correspondence; and other personal family memorabilia.

Ted and Dolores had two children: John-Henry (1968-2004), and a daughter, Claudia (with whom Dolores now lives, in Hernando, Fla., where she is recovering from a health setback). Items pertaining to John-Henry will include bats, uniforms, a player’s duffel bag, etc.; an unusual burnt wooden baseball with portrait of Ted, signed by Ted; books; balls; letters; and family correspondence.

Previews will be held Thursday and Friday (May 28-29), from noon to 6 p.m.; and on Saturday, the day of sale (May 30), from 9-11 a.m. (or by appointment). Online bidding will be facilitated exclusively by Artfact.com. There will be a 15 percent buyer’s premium (18 percent for online bids). All items will come with a Certificate of Origin & Authenticity from Ted Williams Family Enterprises, Ltd.


Related: Vintage sports memorabilia on eBay

 

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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