JACK WALKER : ITALIAN-CONGOLESE CHAMPION BOXER OF THE 1920″S

This vintage real photo postcard features boxer Jack Walker (Leone Jacovacci). His story is fascinating. He was born in Pomba (Belgian Congo) in 1902. His father was an Italian agronomist and his mother was Congolese.  At age three, his father took him away from his mother and went to Italy where he left Jack to be raised by grandparents. Jack’s dad returned to the Congo. The child was a victim of racism in Italy so at sixteen years of age, he went to work as a “cabin boy” on a British ship. After arriving in England, he changed his name to John Douglas Walker, thinking the English name would help him be more socially accepted. He enlisted and served in the British army. Upon discharge, he learned to box in England and began his fighting career. During his boxing career he weighed about 150 pounds and his height was 5″ 10″. His final record as a fighter was 21 Wins, 22 Losses, and 5 Ties. His official record is thought to be incomplete. He began boxing in 1920 and his career ended in 1932. His fights were in Europe. He fought in England, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Austria, Denmark, and Spain. He fought using Italian citizenship and became the Middleweight Champion of Europe. Despite a number of successes in the ring, Jack never was accepted in Italy the way he would have liked. The racist and fascist society did not allow him to really feel like a full Italian citizen or enjoy the fruits of his boxing successes. After ending his boxing career, he became a wrestler for a few years and moved to France. He was trapped there through World War II. His companion, Berthe Salmon, changed her last name to avoid being identified as Jewish. Berthe gave birth to their only child, a daughter. Post war, he worked for the United Nations and assisted refugees. Later he was employed as a bit player in the Italian film industry. In his old age, he worked as an apartment doorman and janitor. Walker died in Milan, Italy in 1983. This postcard was published by Dix, a company located in Paris. Apparently, they published a series of portraits of boxers of the day. The Cabinet Card Gallery has another postcard from the series (Pierre Calloir: French Bantam Weight). This vintage photo portrait postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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FELIX BRAMI : BANTAM WEIGHT BOXER : STAR OF DAVID ON HIS BOXING SHORTS

This vintage photograph features French bantam-weight boxer, Felix Said Brami (1940-2018). He was born in Tunis, Tunisia and was of Jewish descent. His boxing career spanned from 1961 through 1975. The website BoxRec states that he was in the super fly-weight division. Brami had an impressive record of 44 wins, 10 losses, and 3 draws. Twenty-two of his victories were by knockout. Brami won his first 20 fights. He was ranked as high as #6 bantamweight in the world by The Ring magazine in 1964, He was ranked in the top ten bantamweights in the world between 1963 and 1966. He held the French junior lightweight title from 1971 through 1975. Note the Star of David on Brami’s boxing shorts. I imagine that the star represents Brami’s heritage. Note the Star of David embroidered on his boxing trunks. Brami may have developed the idea in imitation of Max Baer. Baer was Jewish and a national hero after he won a bout against German boxer, Max Schmeling, in 1933. This photo indicates that Brami’s manager was G. Charles Raymond. The card’s portrait was photographed by the Belonie studio. This photograph measures about 3 3/8″ x 5 3/8″and is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on March 17, 2020 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF SWISS BOXER ANDRE SIMETH (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features champion Swiss boxer, Andre Simeth. This postcard is part of a series (no. 26) entitled “Les Vedettes du Ring” (Stars of the Ring). In the course of his career, Simeth won 39 fights, lost 55 , and had 16 draws. He won 13 fights, and lost 16 fights by knockout. He was born in 1902 and made his debut in 1919. Simeth fought as a lightweight and at times held the Swiss lightweight title. The photographer of this portrait is Felix Bonnet who operated a studio in Paris, France. The postcard was published by Ajax.

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MALE ATHLETE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA

This cabinet card photograph captures an athlete in an action pose from his sport. What is this young man’s sport? It is my belief that he is likely a wrestler. However, he could be a gymnast, boxer, track and field competitor, or some other type of athlete. The subject certainly appears fit and muscular. Perhaps a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to identify the athlete’s sport by his uniform and leave an informative comment. The photographer of this image is Rudolf Franzl (1877-1955) of Vienna, Austria.

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 9:44 am  Comments (1)  
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