This is an incredible set of items that revolve around German Heavyweight Boxing Champion Max Schmeling:

Starting his professional career in 1924, Schmeling went to the USA in 1928 and, after a ninth-round technical knockout of Johnny Risko, became a sensation. He became the first to win the heavyweight championship (at that time vacant) by disqualification in 1930, after opponent Jack Sharkey knocked him down with a low blow in the fourth round. Schmeling retained his crown successfully in 1931 by a technical knockout victory over Young Stribling. A rematch in 1932 with Sharkey saw the American gaining the title from Schmeling by a controversial fifteen-round split decision.

In 1936, Schmeling knocked out American rising star Joe Louis, placing him as the number one contender for Jim Braddocks title, but Louis got the fight and knocked Braddock out to win the championship in 1937. Schmeling finally got a chance to regain his title in 1938, but Louis knocked him out in one round. During WW2, Schmeling served with the German Luftwaffe as a paratrooper.  After the war, Schmeling mounted a comeback, but retired permanently in 1948.

This Meissen Figurine stands at 360mm in height. There were only 125 of these manufactured by Meissen during the mid 1930s. They came with a small wooden plinth and a presentation fine quality card box. The Meissen mark of the crossed swords can be seen on the base, this mark is totally correct for the Meissen period 1934 to 1945. Underneath of the base it is numbered what appears “149R”, the artists name is clear as “Weils”. If you look closely at the crossed swords you will see two small scratches which indicate this particular piece is a “second quality” and not from the original 125 pieces that were produced, although certainly there is no doubt this figurine was produced at the same time. I have looked very carefully and can see no reason on why the Meissen quality control would have rejected the piece as a “second”, it does appear totally perfect. Usually there were firing marks which caused an item to be classed as a second, but I see nothing on the beautiful glazed surface. Occasionally Meissen would produce these scratches across the swords to signify that any particular piece was produced glazed only, and not decorated with any colour. This is a superb rare piece of beautiful Meissen porcelain, there is no doubt of that.

The figurine comes with 4 period photos, all have been framed with modern frames.

First photograph is Max standing with his beautiful wife actress Anny Ondra:

The daughter of a Czech Austro Hungarian officer, Ondra spent her childhood in Tarnow and Prague. Throughout her marriage to Max, German fascists tried to exploit their fame and popularity. They were often seen in photos with Goebbels and Hitler – Max as a German superman and Anny as a blonde Aryan. However, they never collaborated, Max refused to accept honours and even secretly helped to hide two Jewish children, saving their lives. Anny Ondra was Alfred Hitchcocks “first blond”, when she starred in “Blackmail” – released in 1929. Max and Anny were married for over 50 years and are buried together in  Saint Andreas Friedhof cemetery in Hollenstedt, Germany.

This photo measures 450mm wide and 350mm in height including the glassed frame. At the bottom of the photo Anny and Max have signed their names. Anny Ondra has signed in a beautiful flowing signature her full name – “Anny Ondrakova”, Max is signed of course “Max Schmeling”. Unfortunately they both signed in black ink and over the period of time the signatures are faded. A beautiful composition of the two and a 100% period photo – superb.

Second photo is again 100% period. To include glassed frame it measures again 450mm wide and 350mm in height. Max Schmeling is standing in a smart city suit, to his right the smaller gentleman is Karl Gall. Gall was an Austrian Motorcycle Racer with the works BMW motor-cycle team and a former German national motor-cycle champion. During practice for the 1939 Isle of Man TT on 2 June 1939, Karl Gall crashed on the first lap of an evening practice while trying to overtake the works Norton rider Freddie Frith on the approach to Ballaugh Bridge. After being conveyed by ambulance to Ramsey Cottage Hospital due to severe head injuries, Karl Gall died on 13 June 1939 due to his injuries and the effects of pneumonia whilst in hospital.

Standing to the left of Max the tall gentleman War-Den believes to be American heavyweight boxer Jack Sharkey, whom Max fought twice during his career, 1932 as well as previously mentioned 1930. Included in the frame is a smaller period photo of a profile head and shoulders of Max. Certainly these photos would have been taken well before 1939, War-Den believes that it would have been a press event due to their smart attire and possibly 1937 or 1938.

The third photo in this set is a dedicated period photo from Max to Karl Gall. The dedication is in black ink and very clear, it is of course written in German and translates:

“Karl Gall – with the best wishes Max Schmeling – Febr. 38”

The photo is again mounted behind glass and with frame measures 360mm in height and 270mm in width.

This really is a fantastic set of items for not only collectors of German historic items, but also boxing enthusiasts.

War-Den have priced this set taking into account the two scratches that are across the Meissen swords, but as stated before in the description no defects can be found on the figurine. If this were one of the issued 125 pieces then a fair estimate at a specialised boxing auction for the figurine alone, would certainly be in the region of £15,000 to £20,000 – this is a conservative estimate and may well be higher.

This set is priced very fairly and a real piece of sporting history.

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