October 2015 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/16/2015
Entering the 20th Century, the sport of American football was very different than the game we enjoy today. Constantly changing rules loosened restrictions on tackling, making the game more violent and necessitating the addition of protective gear. Body padding became recognized as being essential, but the last player to take the gridiron without a helmet came as late as 1940, many decades after George Barkley first introduced the "head harness." The first helmets were merely soft leather coverings designed to absorb light impact. Head injuries actually became more common, a consequence arising from players who began using their head as a weapon under the impression that the helmet would protect them. Thicker padding and stronger, more rigid shells were introduced throughout the 1920s and 1930s until John T. Riddell's innovation, the plastic helmet, become the standard headgear of the NFL. The following football artifact has been dubbed by collectors as an "executioner" helmet because it's reminiscent of the hooded masks worn during the French Revolution, when muscle bound loyalists with large axes stood over the chopping block, sworn to behead enemies of the King. The helmet is made of thick leather in the form of an unyielding shell, with laces in the back and a suspension harness inside to provide a tight fit that would minimize head movement during a collision. The helmet covers the entire head and face with a thick leather chinstrap included, with the Reach logo stamped between and above the eye holes and "Special" with a patent number stamped on the rare lace-up back. The size, "7 1/8" is visible on the left side of the crown. An amazing amount of use is visible, with scrapes and scratches visible virtually everywhere on the shell with sweat marks and cracked leather displayed on the inside. The original chin strap is also present. Of all the incredible pieces that we displayed at the National, this is the one item that garnered the most attention, as it is truly a museum-quality representation of professional football in its early years.
Exceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football Helmet
Exceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football Helmet
Exceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football HelmetExceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football Helmet
Exceptionally Scarce Early 1930s Reach Executioner Leather Football Helmet
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $10,366.80
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Friday, October 16, 2015.
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