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Scarce Circa 1973 Roberto Clemente Figural Chalkware Bank by Ivo Zini.

Lot 20. Scarce Circa 1973 Roberto Clemente Figural Chalkware Bank by Ivo Zini. Widely regarded as one of baseball’s best 25 players, Clemente is presented in a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey and cap in this bust, which is 12” tall and across. This is the full-color version of the bank, which is considerably less common than the bronze version liberally produced in the 1980s. The bank displays well and is in comparatively strong condition for this issue. The bill of Clemente’s cap has been repaired at the front of the left side. A tiny chip and scratch are visible on his right cheek, and a half-dozen other tiny chips are visible elsewhere. The bottom right of the “2” in his uniform number has a very small chip. These conditions are not readily observable, and their effect on the sculpture’s appearance is minimal. How many of these banks were made is unclear. “Forty” seems to be the most common guesstimate. Whatever the number, they are the creation of Pittsburgh art nouveau art deco sculptor and artist Ivo Zini, whose name and “73” are on the back of Clemente’s left shoulder. Besides creating sculptures and other art, Zini put his talents to work for 25 year designing cosmetic prostheses for individuals affected by extensive surgery for head and neck tumors. He died in 2008. Zini’s sculpture honoring the Pittsburgh Pirates’ star outfielder will make an excellent addition to a Clemente collection and display. Winning Bid $1,017.    

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       Winning Bid  $1,017


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