Bronze trophy, plaque and archive relating to the 1957 World Basketball Championship for ladies, won by the United States Team including five (5) women and a coach from Middle Tennessee. The championship was held Oct. 12-Oct. 26, 1957 in Rio De Janeiro. Coach John L. Head of the Nashville Business College and five students: Katherine Washington, Nera White, Peggy Tate, Jo Ann Crawford, and Doris Scoggins, were part of the American team selected by the Amateur Athletic Union (which at that point in history worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic Games). The team played 8 games and finally won, defeating the Russian team to claim the world title. Head (1915-1980), who was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the first class of inductees in 1999, served as head coach, and these items descended in his family. Included in this lot is the original bronze sculpture awarded to the team, a circular bronze plaque, and a scrapbook archive containing pennants, a silk ribbon, pins and medal, congratulatory telegrams, brochures and ephemera from the event, photographs including the motorcade and other ceremonies that greeted them on their arrival back in Nashville, and news clippings from Sports Illustrated, the Moscow News, and other papers including a local report of how the weight of the bronze trophy caused return air travel problems for the team because of its size and weight. But, having never received a large trophy they left behind at another, earlier tournament, the team refused to allow this sculpture to be shipped and instead insisted on carrying it home with them on the plane, racking up $713 in excess baggage fees. The 28" sculpture depicts a large woman, likely an Amazon, giving direction to a smaller man who holds a detachable banner. Both are standing on a craggy base which is signed M. Oliveira. The 14" diameter plaque depicts a rain forest landscape with a partially nude woman plucking a water lily from a pond and is also signed M. Oliveira (possibly Monica Oliveira, b. 1900-d. ?). Also included is a 20" x 25" framed photograph showing the team holding the trophy, plaque, and another smaller sculpture (that sculpture is not included with this lot). Condition: Scrapbook has lost its binding, many elements are glued down. Sculpture: some scratching and spots of oxidation on woman's thigh, bend to one finger on man's hand.
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