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Rare Boston Celtics "Sweet 16" Autographed Photo Available at the Heritage Sports Signature Auction, May 14

It's time to bid on a rare piece of Boston Celtics history.

An enormous autographed photo, showing the exact moment the Celtics won their 16th and last championship in Boston Garden, is up for grabs at the Heritage Sports Signature Auction, ending on Saturday, May 14.

On-line bidding is already underway at:
http://www.heritagesportscollectibles.com/common/view_item.php?Sale_No=702&Lot_No=19186

This photograph, just one of three in existence, is signed by nearly the entire team, including Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, and Bill Walton. It has been examined by autograph expert Jim Spence and all signatures are certified as authentic.

Offered for auction by the photographer, this wide angle shot shows nearly the entire Boston Garden, with all 15 previous championship banners clearly visible and readable.

Also readable are 13 of the 16 Celtics retired numbers (at the time) and 6 Bruins retired numbers. In the background, 23 Bruins banners hang. Fans have already stormed the court despite the perimeter being lined with police.

The hanging scoreboard shows there is no time on the clock, yet the final score shown, 114 - 95, is incorrect, due to Houston Rocket Craig Ehlo's buzzer beater is not yet recorded by the scorekeeper. This confirms the shot was taken right at the exact moment the Celtics won their 16th title.

Photographer Chris Lauber produced just 3 original enlargements (measuring 18" x 29") from the 35mm slide and had them autographed in December, 1986. Lauber kept print #1, which still hangs prominently in his office and gave print #2 to his older brother.

Lauber then donated print #3 to All Children's Hospital in Boston in 1986 for their annual Christmas auction. Mrs. Myra Kraft organized the gala event, and the auctioneer was Celtics great John Havlicek. A woman from New Hampshire won the auction for her son's Christmas present, with a bid of $500. It still hangs in that fan's old bedroom.

The print being auctioned, #2, was given by the photographer to his brother Mark at Christmas in 1986. Years later, Mark's basement was flooded, and the photograph became slightly damaged along the edges, with some areas of the print bowed out from the foam-core backing.

Chris re-claimed the print and had it restored and remounted. None of the player's autographs were damaged.

As one of just three original prints, these inclusions will identify this print as #2. This print will appeal to any sports or collectible fan, but especially to a Celtics fan, and even more so, for someone who attended the game and is visible in the photo.

This precise moment in sports history combined with the print's history and the rarity of just 3 original prints, will certainly enhance its value.

The Celtics Sweet 16 photograph is just one valuable item Heritage Sports Collectibles (HSC) will offer from the greatest names in the American sporting history.

"This will certainly be the biggest sports memorabilia auction event of the season," said Chris Ivy, Director of HSC. "We have spent the last six months searching the country for the rarest and most valuable pieces in the collecting hobby, and have had great success in tracking down some truly museum quality collectibles."

Among the artifacts to be offered:
* Babe Ruth's Game Used Bat from 1923-25 with Home Run Notch
* Historic Sale of Babe Ruth Promissory Note From 1922
* Mickey Mantle's 1954 Game Worn Yankees Jersey
* Mickey Mantle's 1961 World Series Game Worn Cap
* Jack Dempsey's 1926 Heavyweight World Championship Belt
* 1957 Cassius Clay Golden Gloves Trophy

Heritage Galleries, with annual sales exceeding $300 million, is the world's largest collectibles auctioneer, handling rare coins, sports collectibles, currency, comic books, vintage movie posters, illustration art, music memorabilia, antique silver, and Americana.

HSC specializes in rare and collectible sports cards, as well as uniforms, equipment, and related vintage sports memorabilia. For more information about this current Signature Sports Auction, please visit http://www.HeritageSportsCollectibles.com.

To order the May 14th Signature catalog, call or write Nicole Jewell at 800 872 6467 Ext. 272, c/o Heritage Sports Collectibles, 3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219.

AUCTION DETAILS: The floor auction is being held in Dallas, TX on Saturday, May 14, 2005. Online bidding ends at 10:00PM CT the night before the floor session for this lot. Your secret maximum bid will compete for you during the floor auction, and it is possible that you may be outbid on the floor after internet bidding closes.

Source: Heritage Sports Collectibles
Date: April 28, 2005

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