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Gavel, Presentation, The Judge, American Bar Association Award to NBC, 1963 (Sold)

Presentation Gavel
American Bar Association 1963 Silver Gavel Award
American: 1963
Nickel-plated brass or a cast white metal
8.25 inches long overall; 2.75 inches width head
Provenance: National Broadcasting Company, Julian Goodman

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

A gavel presented as a Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts by the American Bar Association (ABA) to the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). It was awarded for NBC’s production of The Judge, an hour-long episode of the television series The Dick Powell Theatre that aired in 1963. Each year the ABA presents these awards to recognize works published or presented during the preceding year “which recognize outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. This is the ABA’s highest honor in recognition of this purpose.” The inscription engraved in black block letters on the head of the offered gavel from 1963 cites the contribution of NBC’s drama The Judge “to understanding of the judge’s role and the ethical principles surrounding the judicial office.” The gavel is made of brass, nickel-plated, and thus of a silver tone overall.

Product description continues below.


The Judge was a one-hour episode of The Dick Powell Theatre that ran during the series’ second season on February 5, 1963. The plot centers on a judge, played by the distinguished actor Richard Basehart (1914-1984), who runs the risk of being compromised when he seeks to commute a death sentence. The episode was directed by Emmy-winning director Bernard L. Kowalski (1929-2007), who like Basehart had a long career in television. The Dick Powell Theatre was an anthology series of various dramas and comedies, initially hosted by Dick Powell when it began in 1961, and then by a series of guests hosts after Powell died in 1963.

Inscription on gavel head: “American Bar Association 1963 Gavel Award, National Broadcasting Company, for the televised drama “The Judge” contributing to public understanding of the judge’s role and the ethical principles surrounding the judicial office.”

This gavel was purchased from the collection of Julian Goodman, who served as President of NBC from 1966 to 1974.


“American Bar Association Gavel Award Winners 1960s.” American Bar Association. p. 7. (18 November 2020).

“Past Silver Gavel Award Winners.” American Bar Association. 2017. (18 November 2020).

“The Judge.” IMDB. (18 November 2020).

Additional information


20th Century