Historical Hockey Memorabilia Auction Winter 2017
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/8/2017
Lot 107 from Classic Auctions on Vimeo.
While known to modern hockey adherents for his status as the oldest living Montreal Canadien during the early-1980s, Aurele Joliat first sharpened his skates for use in the Ottawa City League, dressing for both the New Edinburghs and Aberdeens before embarking on a pair of seasons in the NOHA with Iroquois Falls at the onset of the roaring ‘20s. A trip to the big league was next for the wiry winger, and despite his modest stature of a mere 136 lbs balanced evenly over his 67 inches, 16 successful seasons would follow wearing the most prominent and fabled uniform in hockey history. Captained by arch villain and rock hard defenceman Sprague Cleghorn, Joliat’s second season in Montreal would forever alter his future career, with an addition to the club of a speedy centerman from Stratford who was already recognized as the "Stratford Streak" and "Mitchell Meteor", the legendary Howie Morenz. The duo would play a dozen NHL seasons in tandem, winning Stanley Cups as both friends and teammates in 1924 along with back to back championships in 1930 and 1931. Within the pantheon of tragic hockey figures, the paramount loss of Morenz in 1937 was lamented by all, but none more so than his line-mate Aurele. An iconic dressing room image reproduced here picture’s the Little Giant upon the Habs first game back since the tragic death, and it perfectly illustrates how distraught Joliat appears, with Morenz never to don his cherished Canadiens sweater again.
Hailing from the benefit game played on Nov 3rd 1937 at the Montreal Forum to aid the family of the late great Howie Morenz who passed away on March 8th, we are pleased to be able to offer the Montreal Canadiens/Maroons Stars sweater worn in the contest by superstar Aurele Joliat. Originating with the hobby’s other surviving wools from this historic match due to the adherence of posterity from a diligent trainer, the striking red wool sweater with Canadiens’ blue and white striping accents features both “Howie Morenz” and “Memorial Game” in black felt-on-felt plates across the chest, with the former arching over the latter. A thick red felt “CH” logo with white trim has been affixed to the blue striping band of the left sleeve, and it’s unique in design with a straight left edge as opposed to the familiar rounding. “4” in white felt has been sewn to verso, with the typical blue and white striping bands present on the back and lower reverse section omitted from the garment’s obverse. Regarding condition, the sweater is as close to NOS as any item that saw limited use could possibly get, with absolutely bright and vibrant colours, including the off white/cream cuffs, collar and striping bands, with all felt plates firmly attached, sans issues. Just a few small and random holes are present, most notably on the upper reverse striping band and over the middle section of the left sleeve. There are also two small breaches to the fabric along the collar.
Worn by a prominent HOFer while mourning his best friend and teammate, this Aurele Joliat Howie Morenz memorial game sweater is the most historically important example that hails from the benefit game, with it's status even greater when one considers that THIS IS THE ONLY GAME-WORN AURELE JOLIAT SWEATER TO HAVE EVER BEEN OFFERED AT AUCTION. An LOA from Classic Auctions will accompany this amazing relic.
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