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Sports Memorabilia

Australian Cricket Collectables

Posted on October 30, 2012 by Selby There have been 0 comments

Ashes Memorabilia

Cricketana derived from the Ashes Test Series is number one on most collectors’ wish lists.

The notes I have made below are ones I use as a “memory jog” when sourcing Collectables, first a few word about the Ashes series.

The Ashes have been played for between England and Australia since 1882, this highlight of international cricket is celebrated biennially in alternate hemispheres, England and Australia it is from these series that the best cricket memorabilia is available

The series was named from a Sporting Times newspaper article in 1882 which suggested that English cricket was so poor it had died and that its dying ashes should be cremated and transported to Australia, this satirical comment led to the English press quoting the forthcoming England (Ivo Bligh’s X1) tour to Australia 1882/83 “the quest to regain the Ashes”

Australia won the 1st Test at Melbourne on 30/12 by 9 wickets, however England found form winning the 2nd test also at Melbourne, excellent bowling by (Bates 7/27 - 7/74) followed by a win for the tourists at Sydney and possession of the Ashes. Note: (4 ball overs)

Cricket Memorabilia from early Ashes contests is sought after by collectors, tour itineraries, completed scorecards, programmes; sepia photographs, (RPP) postcards, dinner menus and rare autographs are in short supply.

Of particular interest to me are the Ashes series, 1882 to the years immediately after World War 2, up to the very popular 1948 series. It is important to note that outstanding performances during a match, individual or team, add to the collectors enthusiasm.

Australia v England 1911-12

England won the series 4 -1, Jack Hobbs scored 3 centuries whilst Sydney Barnes took 34 wickets at an average of 22.80 per wicket, Frank Foster 32 wickets for 22 runs, Hobbs scored 187, 126 not out in the 2nd innings, my preference would be the 3rd test at the Adelaide Oval. Barnes took 8 wickets

During the series Foster and Barnes shared 66 of the 95 Australian wickets taken, Hobbs, Rhodes, Woolley and Jack Hearne scored centuries making their names in the series from the collector’s point of view. The batting combination of Hobbs and Rhodes, 147 opening stand at Adelaide is especially attractive when signed photos, scorecards are available for the 3rd test, bearing both autographs

It should be that noted that Frank Woolley scored 305 not out for the MCC at Hobart Tasmania in 219 minutes, feats such as this do not seem to attract the same premium and are more readily available than Ashes items

A signed postcard (part of a tour itinerary) was available some time ago of Hordern who took 32 England wickets in the series, this is an item of cricket memorabilia both sought after and not overtly expensive.

Cricket Autographs from this match are rare; occasionally action photographs are sold from collections and are a good long term investment

Below I have listed a number of significant Ashes contests, the point being to associate the appertaining memorabilia with the player/ match i.e. I have a Mead signed photograph taken when he scored 182 not out at Old Trafford, completed signed scorecards would be even better.


England won the series 4 - 1

England v Australia 1921

1st test Trent Bridge Gregory (aus) 6/58 Mc Donald (aus) 5/32,

4th test Old Trafford  Parkin  5/38

5th test Kennington Oval, Mead 182 not out

From a batting perspective in the series Woolley, Macartney and Bardsley would be my favourites

England did not win a match – good series for Australian cricket memorabilia

England v Australia 1926

5th test Kennington Oval

Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe stand of 172 Hobbs 100, Sutcliffe 161

I have a signed scorecard by Sutcliffe and Hobbs any associated cricket collectables are well worthwhile, with Gregory (aus) and Mailey (aus) even better.

Mailey took 13 wickets with Grimmett and Tate 13 apiece

England regained the Ashes in the final test following 4 draws

Australia v England 1928/29

1st test Brisbane,

Hendron 169, White 4/7

2nd test Sydney,

Hammond 251

3rd test Melbourne

1st innings Hammond 200, 2nd innings Sutcliffe 135

4th test Adelaide

Hammond 119 -177

5th test Melbourne

Hammond made up for mediocre batting with 3 excellent wickets in the 2nd innings, Bradman and Woodfull both scored centuries

Hammond’s contribution of 905 runs at an average of 114 endorses the scarcity of Hammond collectables from this series. Walter Hammond signed scorecards etc., if sourced are a must investment.

White took 8/126 at Adelaide, Larwood 6/32 at Brisbane

England won the first 4 tests resulting in a 4 – 1 win

England v Australia 1930

Owing to Don Bradman’s excellent performance in this series Cricket Memorabilia is a premium, the series was decided at the Oval which is probably the most collectable.

1st test at Nottingham

Bradman 131 in the 2nd innings

2nd test at Lords

Duleep a fine 173 caught Bradman off Grimmett  in the 1st innings, Woodfull 155 and Bradman 254

2nd innings Percy Chapman 121

3rd test at Headingley

1ST innings Bradman 334, Hammond 113

5th test Kennington Oval

1st innings Sutcliffe 161, Ponsford 110, Bradman 232,

Hornibrook 7/92

Grimmetts series tally was a useful 29 wickets at an economical 31.9 runs

During the 1930’s series Bradman scored 974 runs at 139.5, it is easy to understand England’s concerns in the build-up to the Bodyline series.

Australia won the 5 test series 2 – 1- 2

Australia v England 1932/33 Bodyline series

I have written extensively about this series and my advice to potential collectors is simple, this series is highly collectable, my personal interest is in Tour itineraries and signed team sheets


England v Australia 1934

1st test Trent Bridge

Farnes 5/77, O’Reilly 7/54

2nd test Lords

Ames 120, Leyland 109, Brown 105

Verity 7/61. 8/43 signed scorecards are available for this test

3rd test at Old Trafford

1st innings, Hendren 132, Leyland 153, Stan Mc Cabe 137

4th test Headingley Ponsford 181, Bradman 304

Bowes 6/142

5th test Kennington Oval

Ponsford 266, Bradman 244, Leyland 110

The series was decided in final test which is probably the most collectable.

Over eight innings Bradman scored 758 runs.  Bradman signed a lot of autographs over the years so for value it is important to relate his signature directly to the event: signed photographs, postcards and tour material achieves this.

Australia won the series 2 - 1


 Australia v England 1936/37

1st test at Brisbane Leyland 126, Fingleton 100, Voce 6/41,4/16, Ward 6/102, Allen 5/36, O’Reilly 5/102

2nd test at Sydney Hammond 231 not out.

I have a team signed cricket bat and signed photograph of Walter Hammond from this event however would like a signed scorecard.

3rd test at Melbourne in the 2nd innings Leyland 111, Singletons scored 136 and Bradman an amazing 270; any collectables from this series are excellent.

4th test at Adelaide

Barnett 129, Bradman 212, Fleetwood Smith took 6 wickets for 110

5th test at Melbourne

Australia 604 in the 1st innings, Bradman 169, McCabe 112, Badcock 118

Australia won the (8 ball over) series 3 – 2


England v Australia 1938

Len Hutton’s 364 is a tremendous achievement, associated memorabilia can only appreciate in value.

1st test at Trent Bridge, Barnett 126, Hutton 100, Paynter 219, Compton 102, Mc Cabe 232 following on in the 2nd innings Brown 133, Bradman 144

2nd test at Lords Hammond 240, Brown 206, Bradman 102 not out in the 2nd innings

4th test at Headingley Bradman 104 in the 2nd innings

5th test at Oval 1st innings Hutton 364, Leyland 187, Hardstaff 169 not out, Bowes 5/49, O’Reilly 5/56, 5/66

4 match series drawn 1 – 1

England v Australia 1948

1st test at Trent Bridge, Bradman 138, Hassett 137, Compton 184, Johnston 5/35

2nd test at Lords, Morris 105, Barnes 141 in the 2nd innings, Lindwall 5/70

3rd test at Old Trafford , Compton 145 not out, a notable achievement in passing his 18000 runs in first class cricket, Dennis Compton memorabilia from this series is especially collectable

4th test at Headingley Washbrook 143, Edrich 111, Harvey 112, Morris 182 in the 2nd innings and Bradman 173 not out

5th Test at the Oval, Morris 196, Lindwall 6/20

Don Bradman who turned 40 years of age during the tour led Australia on his 4th and last tour of England. His team became known as the Invincibles as they were undefeated in every match they played. The tourists won 4 Test Matches 1 drawn and 23 first class matches drawing 8. The tourists are widely regarded as the best Test side ever.

Cricket memorabilia from the 1948 series is very collectable, signed team sheets are at a premium if they are complete, especially if SG Barnes has autographed the sheet instead of his usual hand stamp.

The 1948 tour itineraries postcards and photos showing the RMS Strathaird which the team sailed on from Fremantle to Tilbury are a favourite.

The 1948 Australian team is probably the most popular with collectors after the 1932/33 infamous Bodyline series.

Tony Selby




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