Release | Christie's announces "Original Air: Michael Jordan Game-Worn and Player Exclusive Sneaker Rarities," July 2020
New York – Christie’s announces its partnership with Stadium Goods to host Original Air: Michael Jordan Game-Worn and Player Exclusive Sneaker Rarities (July 30-August 13), a landmark online sale offering the most comprehensive sneaker record of Michael Jordan’s era-defining Chicago Bulls career. With a total of 11 lots including sneakers that are among the rarest of the rare, “Original Air” unites the greatest collection of historic Michael Jordan footwear memorabilia ever offered at one time. Additionally, a portion of proceeds from one of the sale’s lots are designated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfils the promise of equality for all Americans.
Beginning in 1985 with the release of the Air Jordan 1, Nike’s Jordan Brand has been at the forefront of a pop-culture movement that has spanned the globe. Put simply, Michael Jordan and his signature line of footwear are the foundational pillars of modern basketball and the worldwide phenomenon of sneaker collecting. From a pre-Jordan Brand Nike Air Ship Jordan worn during his rookie season ($350,000 – 550,000), to the very pair of the Air Jordan 7 “Olympic” worn in the Dream Team’s gold medal game in 1992 ($50,000 – 70,000), to a pair of classic Jordan 14s worn during practice for his final Bulls appearance ($6,000 – 8,000), “Original Air” provides a one-of-a-kind look at Jordan’s career and his footwear’s impact on sports, culture and style.
John McPheters, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Stadium Goods, remarks, “Michael Jordan’s tremendous impact on basketball and sneakers is universally acknowledged, and it can be easy to think there aren’t any new stories to add to the legend. But as we’ve seen with ‘The Last Dance’ and now with our ‘Original Air’ auction with Christie’s, there are still lesser known narratives in the legacy that create great interest. The pieces we’ve put together for this auction are truly unique, and will have deep resonance for Jordan fans, sneaker connoisseurs and pop culture collectors alike. Additionally, we are pleased to be able to donate proceeds from one of the sale’s most exciting highlights to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund."
FIRST LOTS ANNOUNCED
Air Ship, MJ Player Exclusive,
Game-Worn SneakerS, Nike, 1984
Left Shoe: Size 13.5, Right Shoe: Size 13, High-Top
Estimate $350,000 – 550,000
Before the Air Jordan 1 was released, Michael Jordan wore the Nike Air Ship for the NBA preseason and early games of his rookie year. Michael Jordan’s version of the Air Ship was modified exclusively for him in the form of an Air Jordan 1 TYPS MJ PE (Tong Yang Player Sample Michael Jordan Player Exclusive). The design features the upper of the Air Ship with the sole of the Air Jordan 1. Sourced from a New Jersey Nets equipment manager, since Jordan wore the Air Ship only for a brief time early in his rookie season, to find a game-worn pair today is extremely rare.
Air Jordan 7 “Olympic,” Player Exclusive,
Game-Worn SneakerS, Nike, 1992
Size 13, Mid-Top
Estimate $50,000 – 70,000
The 1992 US Olympic Basketball Team, the “Dream Team,” is arguably the greatest basketball team ever assembled. These Jordan 7s are photo matched to the August 8, 1992 gold medal game against Croatia, in which Jordan scored 22 points and Team USA won by a score of 117-85. This incredible pair from Jordan and a Magic Johnson T-Shirt were both sourced from a receptionist of the Ambassador Hotel in Barcelona where the Dream Team exclusively stayed, gifted as a show of gratitude from the Dream Team for their stay in Barcelona.
Air Jordan 14 “Chicago”, Player Exclusive,
Practice-Worn SneakerS, Nike, 1998
Size 13, Mid-Top
Estimate $6,000 – 8,000
Here is an MJ-coded “Chicago” Jordan 14, worn during practice as seen in “The Last Dance” documentary. This is an extremely rare colorway and model to find with MJ coding and wear. Worn by Michael Jordan during practice between games of the 1998 NBA Finals.
Aline Sylla-Walbaum, Global Managing Director of Luxury at Christie’s, remarks, “As the leading Luxury auction house, Christie’s is honored to partner with Stadium Goods, the world’s premier marketplace for sneakers and streetwear, for a series of sales beginning this July with ‘Original Air.’ This highly-curated sale marks Christie’s entry into a new collecting category that merges sports’ history, art, fashion, and contemporary lifestyle following the great success of our Hype sale in December 2019. In collaboration with Stadium Goods, we hand-selected an offering that represents the most iconic moments of Michael Jordan’s celebrated career and his enduring impact on sport and style. We sought to offer only the highest quality pieces in the same way we evaluate items for Christie’s Luxury sales – looking for quality, rarity, and uniqueness of design. Additionally, this sale has offered us the opportunity to partner with the Post-War & Contemporary Art and Photographs teams as we look to the world of sports as inspiration for mediums across art.”
TAKING PLACE ALONGSIDE “ORIGINAL AIR” ARE TWO ADDITIONAL ONLINE SALES
IN THE GAMECHANGERS SERIES PAYING HOMAGE TO THE WORLD OF SPORT
THE ATHLETE: Photographs by Walter Iooss, Jr.
ONLINE SALE | BIDDING: 23 JULY – 11 AUGUST 2020
With a half a century of experience behind the camera, Walter Iooss has photographed thousands of athletes, including the most iconic stars in the biggest arenas under the brightest lights. His unrivaled ability to ‘get the shot’—a skill that has made him a legend among those he has photographed—has allowed him unparalleled access to the inner sanctum of club houses, team planes, and the homes of many athletes. He has gained the trust and admiration of many. “From what I can tell, Walter has never taken a bad shot of anybody or anything. Years later, working together on Rare Air, we had become so comfortable around one another that I barely had to look up. You don’t have to perform for Walter.”—Michael Jordan.
In this online auction of 39 rare, vintage photographic prints of basketball, football and baseball heroes of the 60s-90s, the genius and eye of Walter Iooss are in full-effect, making us fall in love all over again with these memorable heroes of the court, field and diamond.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
PRIVATE SELLING EXHIBITION | 20 JULY 2020 – 14 AUGUST 2020
For the Love of the Game is an online private selling exhibition exploring the theme of sports in 20th century and contemporary art. Artists have drawn inspiration from athletes and physical competition since antiquity, and 20th-century artists have contributed an important critical viewpoint to this artistic dialogue. The old motifs of physical prowess and beauty have been superseded by unique and contemporary themes: the artist as celebrity, commodity, hero and myth.
From George Bellows to Jonas Wood, For The Love Of The Game surveys the treatment of athletes and sports by a variety of artists, revealing the many different viewpoints and frames of reference that inform this important theme. For the Love of the Game will be open for browsing on Christies.com from 20 July to 14 August 2020. Highlights will also be shown alongside the Gamechangers Exhibition.
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