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Rare collection of artwork by boxing legend Muhammad Ali up for auction
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Rare collection of artwork by boxing legend Muhammad Ali up for auction


New York is about to see the auction of a rare collection of drawings by American boxer Muhammad Ali on October 5. The late champion was known to draw between fights. The rare 24-piece collection of sketches and paintings include signed ones as well.

Many of the drawings reflect Ali's cartoon style and interest in social justice as well as religion. Some artworks also show him in the boxing ring. The legendary boxer loved sketching after a fight or an intense training session as a way to unwind, reported The Indian express.

Muhammad Ali converted to Islam in 1964 when he was at the height of his career. One of the paintings on sale is devoted to Islam and it was made right after he converted.

The rare collection is shared by Rodney Hilton Brown, who worked with Muhammad Ali on his art. "Ali's passion for drawing was little known. A lot of people are excited because no one knew he was an artist and no one knew about this treasure trove of artwork," said Helen Hall, the director of popular culture at Bonhams.

She added that the auctioneers are seeing a lot of interest and excitement around his collection. Some of his paintings "America: The Big Jail" (1967) and "War in America" are estimated to have a pre-sale value of $25,000 to $35,000.

One such painting 'Sting Like a Bee' made in 1978 has a speech bubble that reads "Ref, he did float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!". One of the boxers is knocked out in the painting, and the other is standing with his arms raised in victory. "The painting was made by Ali during the filming of the historical miniseries "Freedom Road," said Bonhams auctioneers. It is expected to fetch $40,000 – $60,000.

Some of the paintings refer to the race riots in LA (1965) and Newark (1967). Another painting "The Starving Children of Mississippi" (1967) has a figure wearing shorts saying "I only wanted to fight to help feed you, poor Black kids," added Helen Hall.

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TAGS:Muhammed Ali Auction 
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