NEW YORK -- The original 1935 plaster cast of the Heisman Trophy sculpture will be up for auction on Dec. 10 -- the date this year's award is announced -- as part of Sotheby's and SCP Auctions' sale of "Important Sports Memorabilia and Cards."
When members of the Downtown Athletic Club originally conceived
the idea of an annual award to honor the most outstanding college
football player, Frank Eliscu, a then-23-year-old New York native,
was commissioned for the work. Ed Smith, a leading player on the
1934 New York University football team, assisted Eliscu as his
After preliminary sketches of the statue, the DAC suggested that
the artist move the outstretched arm to the side, as it would be
more natural in how a runner would push away a tackler. Eliscu's
finished product was used to create the mold for the bronze trophy
that is handed out each year. He was paid $200 for his work.
Since its creation 70 years ago, eight Heisman trophy winners
have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including
Doak Walker, Paul Hornung, Roger Staubach, O.J. Simpson, Tony
Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen and Barry Sanders.
In addition to the Heisman Trophy sculpture, Eliscu, who died in 1990, compiled a prominent list of works throughout his career, including the creation of President Gerald Ford's inaugural medal and a state gift for the late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
His "Cascade of Books" is mounted on the front of the James
Madison Library of Congress in Washington.