Rare Collection Of Muhammad Ali's Drawings Sells For Nearly $1M

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A collection of rare sketches by heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali sold for nearly $1 million at an auction earlier this month.

According to Insider, the collection included 28 pieces, 26 of which sold for $945,524, "over three times the low estimate," the Bonhams' auction house said in a statement.

One of the pieces, a felt tip drawing completed in 1978 titled, "Sting Like A Bee" –– a reference to the late boxing icon's famous quote –– sold for $425,312, breaking a world auction record for an Ali original.

According to the auction house, the piece sold for $425,312 ––10 times the low estimate and depicts a victorious Ali with raised fists over an opponent. A speech bubble over the opponent reads: "Ref, he did float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!" A referee in the sketch is drawn running away, a speech bubble reading, "Yes, if you were smart you run like me!"

The scene from the drawing references the famous quote a 22-year-old Ali delivered before defeating Sonny Liston in 1964 at the World Heavyweight Championships in Miami.

In addition to being a boxing legend, Ali was also a civil rights activist and artist, likely influenced by his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr who was a professional painter.

"The artworks depicting subjects close to his heart: boxing, civil rights, religion, world peace, and humanitarianism were all treated with equal vigor by bidders," Helen Hall, Director of Bonhams Popular Culture Department said in a statement.

"It was an honor to offer such a rare and unique opportunity to acquire original works by 'The Greatest of All Time,' Muhammad Ali," Hall said.

Ali passed away in 2016 at the age of 74 following a battle with Parkinson's disease.

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