Were this vast accumulation offered simply for the value of its well in excess of (1,000) total pieces, it would demand attention from photo collectors. The fact that this hoard of photos, negatives, postcards and correspondence, including a rare "Knute at the beach" photo was the personal property of Knute Rockne’s sister Louise raises the bar considerably. Housed in and included with the lot, a vintage trunk, this assortment spans generations of Rockne family history from the late-19th Century in Norway to the mid-20th Century in America. More on our website.
A decent number of these various size antique and vintage photos are cabinet types. Subject matter encompasses baby/child photos, vacation scenes, family events/get-togethers, group shots, military service, portraits and antique automobiles. Some of the more interesting pieces are a beach scene group shot with Knute Rockne at rear center, several WWI Era military photos and several with wagons/carts along with an 1882 license certificate from Norway regarding Rockne’s father Lars and his status as a wagon builder. Also present are dozens of vintage postcards, a bag of photo negatives and an assortment of correspondence and ephemera including an address book or two. While condition runs the full gamut of excellent down to fair, the vast majority remain appealing. Photos comparable to those in this collection are virtually non-existent in the hobby marketplace and though childhood photos of Rockne appear to be rarer than alien landings on the White House lawn, it is possible he may appear in one or more of the group shots. Particularly worth examining is a Chicago elementary school photo with the caption “Brentano ‘04” above the students. Even more incredible is the possiblity of finding a baby picture(s) of college football's most revered coach, please let us know if you do, we want a copy.
NOTE: It was brought to our attention that there is a real photo postcard of 6 men and one woman sitting in front of a house. Clearly pictured in the middle is Thomas Edison and flanked to his right is Henry Ford. The Azo postcard dates to 1927-1940, but definitively is pre-1931 (as that was when Edison passed away). We have taken a close up image of this postcard and added it to the photos below.
The included trunk measures 26-1/4 x 15 x 8”. It is green with oxidized hardware that appears to be original with deference to the addition of two functioning latches. Of the three original latches present only the larger one at center is functional. This vintage piece of luggage is solid and serviceable with moderate overall wear evident.
This is one of three lots in our current auction that came from a cache of photos and correspondence which were the personal property of Knute Rockne’s sister Louise Rockne of Chicago, IL. Housed in an antique trunk these original Rockne family mementos were recently discovered in a storage find. Offered items date from the 1860s Norway to the 1960s Midwestern and Northeastern United States. All indications and research lead H&S to believe that this exciting trove of Rockne related materials is unknown to the hobby and this is the first time they are being offered as Knute Rockne and family memorabilia. Interested parties may view the other two lots in our Football-Memorabilia and Football-Autographs categories.