Friday, 25 January, 2013 - Modified on Friday, 25 January, 2013 at 9:40 am
Wolverhampton Auction Rooms Manager Tom Waldron
A significant collection comprising the signatures of many prominent cricket, rugby, golf and tennis stars of the 1930s is part of the impressive sporting memorabilia section of next month’s Specialist Collectors Sale at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms.
Contained within a single album, sporting luminaries such as 1935 Wimbledon Champion Fred Perry, the 1935-36 New Zealand 'All Blacks' tourist team, and some players from the 1934 Amateur Golf Championship at Prestwick, feature. Perhaps of most interest to serious collectors, however, are two signatures from England and Australia's glorious cricketing past, Wally Hammond and Donald Bradman, respectively.
Bradman's signature is amongst those of the victorious Australia Ashes tourist team of 1934, which also includes Captain Bill Woodfull and the legendary batsman Bill Ponsford. In the decisive fifth and final test of the 1934 Ashes series, Bradman and Ponsford scored an astronomical 510 runs (a partnership of 451) of Australia's total of 701; securing victory for the tourists.
Similarly, Hammond's signature features alongside those of the 1935 England XI who took on South Africa at Old Trafford in the fourth of a five-test home series. Whilst both teams played to a draw in Manchester, the tourists went on to win the series one-nil, thanks to an earlier victory at Lord's. The signatures of the South African players who appeared in the earlier game are also present in this comprehensive album. Saleroom Manager, Tom Waldron, explains the particular appeal of these autographs:
“Cricket fans tend to be very nostalgic about the game in the 1930s – it’s seen as the halcyon days of the game, and the rivalry between England & Australia during the period was at its peak. What makes the collection even more interesting is that, in addition to the signatures of the major stars of the sport in the era, the album also contains a letter from the gentleman who was present at the fourth test at Headingley and obtained the signatures on behalf of the original collector, so it provides an insight into how the collection was amassed.”
Carrying a guide price of between £100 - £200, the album is not the only stand-out lot in what is a particularly strong sporting section. Supporters of the Saleroom’s local side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, will be interested to hear that a superb set of fourteen real photograph postcards depicting players of the Wolves’ 1939 FA Cup Final team, signed by each player in ink, are also set to sell. Published by magna Wolverhampton the set includes legendary players Alex McIntosh and Dicky Dorset, as well as one of Wolves' most successful players - and later manager - Stan Cullis. The set was originally awarded to a winner of the ‘lucky programme’ draw at Molineux in 1939, who had the choice of taking home either a ball from a league game or the cards.
Whilst the team was ultimately defeated by Portsmouth in the final, the cards will still be of particular interest to collectors as not only are there just a few known to be in circulation, but the 1939 Final was the last to be played before a six-year hiatus following the outbreak of WWII. Guided at £200-400, this unique item is set to pique the interest of both sporting and historical collectors alike.
The auction will take place from 10am on Friday, 15th February at Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Auction Rooms, with viewing taking place between 10am – 7pm on Thursday 14th February and on the morning of the sale. Live online bidding via www.the-saleroom.com, commission and telephone bidding options are available for those unable to attend the auction in person. The full catalogue will be available for viewing online from Friday, 8th February at www.cuttlestones.co.uk in the meantime, for further information on any of these lots, please call 01902 421985.