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Horse Racing Memorabilia
Also known as “The Sport of Kings,” horse racing is one of the world’s oldest gaming endeavors, with an organized history dating back to early Greece and Asia. Its establishment as a professional sport actually began in 18th-century England, during the reign of Queen Anne.
The earliest horse racing memorabilia known to exist dates back to the 1700s, and scarce pieces like racing trophies and original artwork will command high prices on auction. For the average collector today, common investments can include racing cards, pin back buttons, glassware, photos, books, and periodicals. As a rule of thumb, sets and collections sell better, and choosing well-known horses, jockeys, or events is a beneficial investing tactic.
Unlike other sports, horse racing’s triple crowns tend to bring an ebb and tide to the collecting world. For a horse to win all three races is an outstanding accomplishment—a feat often seen only once every few decades. It’s typical for memorabilia sales to heighten considerably after a triple crown winner is announced, bringing forth a resurgence to the hobby and new generation of collectors.
Collecting mint julep glasses from the Kentucky Derby is a popular endeavor, and the most difficult ones to locate are from the 1939 and 1940 events
The 1765 painting, “Gimcrack on Newmarket Health, With a Trainer, a Jockey and a Stable-Lad,” by famed equine artist George Stubbs sold for 35.9 million on a Christie’s auction in July 2011
Some believe that a race horse’s halter is the holy grail of collecting, and that owning one gets them closer to the horse than any other memorabilia