Brearley Banter Blog

Hunt Auctions Press Release - The Brearley Collection

Hunt Auctions is proud to announce the offering of The Brearley Collection. Dennis Brearley (1945-2003) was a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist for a Boston newspaper when in 1978 he left the industry to embark on a small business venture. Brearley very successfully sold the historic photographs printed from his collection of historic photo negatives. The collection of original negatives is regarded as one of the greatest photographic archives of its type in the United States. The variety and quality of these images is truly remarkable inclusive of numerous iconic images from many of the greatest names in sports such as Ted Williams and Bobby Orr.

"Since 1978 the Brearley family has thoroughly enjoyed presenting our unique photographs to our customers. The decision to sell our collection of collectibles and original negatives was not an easy one." remarked the Brearley Family. "However, we have had wonderful experiences and met some great people; it has been a great ride! We hope the future owners of this unique collection enjoy it as much as we have."

Additionally, Mr. Brearley loved to photograph baseball games holding the position of Boston Red Sox team photographer from 1988-2001. The memorabilia collection accumulated by Mr. Brearley was very special to him as it consisted of photographs from his collection of original negatives, which were subsequently autographed by the respective subject. He cherished presenting athletes with a collection of photographs from their playing career and, in turn, they were more than happy to sign some of the images for Brearley's personal collection.

"Dennis Brearley was special,” noted Richard A. Johnson, Curator of The Sports Museum New England. "A great photographer, journalist, and keeper of Boston and New England's pictorial heritage. He saved and lovingly preserved nothing less than a priceless segment of Boston and New England's pictorial DNA."

One particular favorite of Brearley was the classic photograph of Ted Williams at bat on opening day in 1947. Williams became familiar with the image and as such labeled the now iconic rendering as the "classic swing" shot.

Among Brearley's many clients was long time hobbyist, dealer, and player representative Dick Gordon of Dick Gordon Sports who remarked, "I have had the pleasure of working with Dennis, Susan & Matt Brearley for the past twenty years. It's a relationship that has enriched my collection of wonderful photos from original negatives, especially the poses of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and other Red Sox greats. They are in a class by themselves."

Hunt Auctions will be offering the collection in its entirety throughout a series of auctions conducted over a period of months during 2013-14.

Auction Item

Lot #733
Yogi Berra &
Mickey Mantle

Auction Item

Lot #745
Ted Williams
Classic Swing

Auction Item

Lot #748
Jackie Robinson
Number 42

Auction Item

Lot #752
Lou Gehrig &
Babe Ruth