Hunt Auctions has been selected to sell the collection of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who captured and collected some of the greatest sports images of the 20th century.
Dennis Brearley (1945-2003) worked for a Boston newspaper when in 1978 he left the industry to embark on a small business venture. Brearley very successfully sold the historic photographs printed from his collection of historic photo negatives. The collection of original negatives is regarded as one of the greatest photographic archives of its type in the United States. The collection includes numerous iconic images from many of the greatest names in sports including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson and Bobby Orr.
“Since 1978 the Brearley family has thoroughly enjoyed presenting our unique photographs to our customers. The decision to sell our collection of collectibles and original negatives was not an easy one.” remarked the Brearley Family. “However, we have had wonderful experiences and met some great people; it has been a great ride! We hope the future owners of this unique collection enjoy it as much as we have.”
Additionally, Brearley loved to photograph baseball games holding the position of Boston Red Sox team photographer from 1988-2001. The memorabilia collection was very special to him as it consisted of photographs from his collection of original negatives, which were subsequently autographed by the respective subject. He cherished presenting athletes with a collection of photographs from their playing career and, in turn, they were more than happy to sign some of the images for Brearley’s personal collection.
“Dennis Brearley was special,” noted Richard A. Johnson, Curator of The Sports Museum New England. “A great photographer, journalist, and keeper of Boston and New England’s pictorial heritage. He saved and lovingly preserved nothing less than a priceless segment of Boston and New England’s pictorial DNA.”
One particular favorite of Brearley was the classic photograph of Ted Williams at bat on opening day in 1947. Williams became familiar with the image and as such labeled the now iconic rendering as the “classic swing” shot.
Among Brearley’s many clients was long time hobbyist, dealer, and player representative Dick Gordon of Dick Gordon Sports. “I have had the pleasure of working with Dennis, Susan & Matt Brearley for the past twenty years,” Gordon said. “It’s a relationship that has enriched my collection of wonderful photos from original negatives, especially the poses of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and other Red Sox greats. They are in a class by themselves.”
Hunt Auctions will be offering the collection in its entirety throughout a series of auctions conducted over a period of months during 2013-14. The initial offering will take place as a section within the 2013 Major League Baseball T-Mobile All-Star FanFest live auction to be held in New York City on July 16, 2013. This initial offering may be viewed online at lot #s 733-757 at www.huntauctions.com. The remainder of the collection will be presented within Hunt Auctions monthly sales as well as special premium groupings to be included in elite live auction venues.