The original mold for college football’s biggest prize still survives–and it’s just been sold.
At its October auction, Heritage Auctions offered the original plaster cast maquette of the Heisman Trophy, first awarded in 1935. It went unsold during the bidding process but the company reports it has now been purchased for a price of $89,625. The price also included the sale of the last bronze trophy created from the maquette.
The original maquette was used to create Heisman awards through the mid-1970s before being replaced. After conceiving the award, first given to Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago, the Downtown Athletic Club hired Roman Bronze Works to create its now-famous trophy.
Frank Eliscu, then a relatively unknown artist of 23, was in charge of the project. Eliscu eventually created famous works works ranging from the official inaugural medals of Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller to the monumental "Cascade of Books" above the entrance to the James Madison Building of the Library of Congress. Eliscu retained his original plaster model, which entered the hobby and was eventually sold by Sotheby’s in New York in December 2005 for over $200,000.
There is no word on who purchased the Heisman-related memorabilia but Heritage often turns to private clients to consummate high dollar sales outside the auction time frame.
Heritage also reports the post-auction sale of four pre-War hockey jerseys from its October auction for $25,000-30,000 each. ““It’s a small, private and very specialized audience for material such as this, but all of these collectors are firmly on our radar," said HA’s Chris Ivy.