With the clock counting down to auction day, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity exists for a Carlton collector or collectors to acquire the extensive lot of Alex Jesaulenko’s football memorabilia in its entirety.
The Alex Jesaulenko Collection, carrying an estimated worth of $370,000, is to be auctioned at Charles Leski Auctions in Hawthorn East on the evening of Thursday, September 26.
A total of 158 lots (with the exception of lot 13, the No.25 dark Navy Blue guernsey worn by Jesaulenko into the 1970 Grand Final which cannot be authenticated and has been withdrawn) are to go under the hammer.
Each lot, in part, tells the whole of the story of one of the greatest Australian Rules footballers ever to lace a boot – a four-time Carlton Premiership player, Carlton and AFL Team of the Century representative, and a Club and League Legend who is Alex Jesaulenko.
With the Carlton Football Club’s 150th year looming, the vast collection of items carefully managed by Jesaulenko’s late wife Annie – including premiership medallions, trophies, mounted footballs, guernseys both club and representative, blazers, certificates, letters, slides, photographs and scrapbooks – carries enormous historical significance.
Particularly precious items include Jesaulenko’s 1979 Premiership Medallion which he earned as the game’s last Grand Final-winning captain-coach, and the 1976 Players’ Association trophy – the first ever awarded – in 1975.
Jesaulenko evades four Tigers. (Photo: Supplied)
Also available is fragile 8mm footage shot by Jesaulenko of his various international sporting tours, including that which involved Carlton and the Dallas Cowboys.
“You’ve got Carlton players interacting with American gridiron players, and footage like that is years ahead of its time. There wouldn’t be any other footage shot of Carlton in that location. There was no TV crew around then.”
As the club has a blanket policy of not purchasing items of memorabilia, it relies on the goodwill of Carlton-friendly collectors to avail precious items on loan for future display at the club, like those making up The Alex Jesaulenko Collection.
Max Williamson, sports specialist at Charles Leski Auctions, described the collection as “probably the best football collection we’ve had . . . and Alex Jesaulenko is the iconic Carlton player”.
“We’ve had a few others players’ collections, which included Premiership trophies of their particular period, but the difference here are the scrapbooks collected by his wife, together with the photographs that were ordered from the newspapers, which are pretty complete,” Williamson said.
“The reality is that unless you’ve got someone really major – and Carlton possibly has – then the collection won’t remain intact.
“It did happen with Shirley Strickland’s collection, when a group of collectors got together to make an offer for the whole thing. In the end, the items were withdrawn from auction and acquired, which was in keeping with what Shirley actually wanted – and ultimately on-sold to the National Sports Museum.”