Boxing Trophy Belt, given to John L. Sullivan

Description (Brief)
In 1887 a gold belt was given to John L. Sullivan, heavyweight boxing champion from 1882 to 1892. At the peak of his career, supporters of the "Boston Strong-Boy" made him a diamond-encrusted belt.
"The Great John L." lost only one of his nearly 50 career fights, falling to jim Corbett in 1892. Later, as Sullivan's income dwindled, he chipped out the diamonds and pawned his belt again and again. In 1901, a jeweler created a replica to display at the Buffalo World's Fair. It is not known whether the Smithsonian's belt is the original or the replica.
Currently not on view
Object Name
trophy belt
trophy, belt
belt, trophy
trophy belt, boxing
date made
associated person
Sullivan, John L.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 11 3/4 in x 49 1/2 in x 1 in; 29.845 cm x 125.73 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mary A. Delaurier

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