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Known for her beauty and grace on and off the ice, Fleming dominated women’s figure skating and is considered a pioneer in women’s athletics. She raised the bar in elegance, technique and style, changing the sport of figure skating forever, taking it from staid to glamorous. Her unrivaled achievements launched a long and successful career as both a professional figure skater and sports commentator with ABC sports.
Fleming began skating at age 9 when her family moved to Cleveland and soon began skating in earnest on the advice of her father. In 1961, when Peggy was 12 years old, her coach, William Kipp, was killed in the crash of Sabena Flight 548 along with the rest of the United States figure skating team while en route to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships. Fleming was subsequently coached by Carlo Fassi. Her unusual style led to five U.S. titles, three world titles and the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France. Her award in Grenoble was singularly important for the American athletes and the nation as a whole, for this was the only gold medal that the U.S. Olympic team won in the 1968 Winter Games. It signaled the beginning of the return to American dominance in the sport of women’s figure skating following the tragedy of the 1961 plane crash.
The first offering will be a lady’s Rolex Datejust President 18K yellow wristwatch, Ref. 69138, circa 1995. The watch has the factory diamond dial and bezel and is accompanied by the original certificate, personal ephemera of autographs, photographs and advertising from her years of advertising work with Rolex (estimate: $8,000-$12,000).
The second offering will be a coveted pair of custom-made ice skates by Harlick of California. These skates were executed for Fleming and used in the Rolex Yacht Master advertising campaign. Both skates feature an etched autograph on the blades (estimate: $2,000-$4,000).
The third offering will be two of Fleming’s official Olympic jackets, her United States Olympics Training Center jacket with leather sleeves and her United States Olympic Gala jacket. Both jackets retain the official patches and are autographed by Fleming (estimate: $800-$1,200).
The fourth offering from her personal collection will be the official 1964 United States Olympic Team suitcase used for the IX Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. The Samsonite case with official decals will be offered with a photo reproduction of the 1964 U.S Olympic figure skating team, and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Torch relay top and pants she wore during the relay and the opening of the 2002 Winter Games. Each of these items bear Fleming’s autograph (estimate: $800-$1,200).
The fifth offering will be a group of Peggy Fleming signed ephemera including the May 2, 1966 Sports Illustrated magazine “Our New World Champion,” Feb. 23, 1968 Life magazine “Olympic Charmer,” and a copy of her schematic from the free skating program, 1968 Olympic Winter Games, Grenoble France. This group will be offered together with signed press photographs (estimate: $600-$800).
The Peggy Fleming Collection will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 16, as part of at Clars’ Auction Gallery’s fine art and antiques sale. The auction will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Pacific.
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