William Henry - Monarch Fable
Frank Earle Schoonover's oil on canvas "Breakfast Coca" (detail), painted for the Walter Backer & Co. in 1905, sold for $31,070 at a July 2009 Heritage auction.

Looking Back … 1905

Theodore Roosevelt begins his first full term as president, having assumed the office after President William McKinley’s assassination in 1901. Ty Cobb makes his Major League debut, playing for the Detroit Tigers. In the World Series, the New York Giants defeat the Philadelphia Athletics in five games. World Heavyweight boxing champion James Jackson Jeffries retires undefeated. Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are banned from the Brooklyn Public Library for setting a “bad example.” The Cullinan diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found (3,106 carats), is discovered in South Africa.

COINS

The Indian Head cent was first minted in 1859. This 1905 example is one of five-known Indian cents struck on quarter eagle gold planchets. It sold for $253,000 at a January 2010 auction.

SPORTS

The second World Series, in which the New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, was packed with future Hall of Famers like Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell, Connie Mack and Christy Mathewson. This final-game, final-out ball from the series realized $31,200 at an August 2017 Heritage auction.

DECORATIVE ARTS

The first Tiffany lamps were created in the 1890s and today are highly coveted by collectors. This leaded glass and bronze Poinsettia Table Lamp on Mushroom Base, circa 1905, realized $30,000 at a November 2015 auction.

SILVER & VERTU

Pieces by Josef Hoffman (1870-1956) defined avant-garde art and design at the turn of the 19th century. The Austrian designer’s four-piece silver, silver gilt, walnut and ivory tea service, circa 1905, sold for $112,500 at an April 2015 auction.

This story appears in the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.