We must take a moment to reflect on how dramatically our lives have changed since we last communicated; but also, how so many things have remained the same. We have been alarmed, along with all of you, as we have watched the march of the Coronavirus from country to country, city to city and suburb to suburb. We consider ourselves very lucky to have been able to look after our families and loved ones as well as ourselves, as we have transitioned to working from our homes or with the front door of our rooms closed most of the time. We have managed to stay healthy so far, as have those around us, and while we mourn the many thousands around the world who have died and we wish for the speedy recovery to good health, of the tens of thousands still suffering at home or in hospitals everywhere, we also note the rise of a stubborn optimism, a determination to maintain dignity and respect for others, and an embracing of the “new normal” as an opportunity to think differently about the future.
We have had many phone calls, emails and letters from you during these weeks. There have been several consistent themes: you have all asked about our health, our plans for the immediate future and you have all – everyone of you who have taken the trouble to be in touch – encouraged us to keep going with our auctions, however we can and whenever we can! That has been wonderfully satisfying, because it tells us that for you, our catalogues and our auctions are very much part of your lives – new normal or otherwise. It is clear to us that those of you who have a hobby, a passion, a pastime that gives you pleasure, challenges you intellectually or satisfies an emotional need, are among the luckiest people in these unprecedented times. Many of you have told us about how enthusiastically you have embraced the time you are spending at home: collections need attention, not just new acquisitions but dealing with previous purchases, updating lists, remounting or other jobs that get put aside for months and years. Now they can be done.
But of course, you want more. No collector wants to stand still; there’s always the desire to find something new, better, unknown. So here we are, with our biggest Sports Memorabilia sale for a long time and for that, we must thank the many vendors who have entrusted their items to us for this sale. It’s going to be different, in that although we will be talking to an empty room on auction day, we know there will be many of you participating in this sale by lodging your bids beforehand (what we call “putting the bids on the book”), booking a phone line for the lots you want to bid on, bidding live on our website or on the Invaluable.com website, which some of you prefer. There’s plenty of ways to participate. About 80% of our sales in the field of sporting memorabilia in recent auctions have been to clients who have not been in the room, so we think you’re right (those of you who have encouraged us to proceed with the auction) and we also think it will be OK.
There are two very strong sections in this catalogue, Cricket and Australian Rules Football, which we will talk about a little now before also mentioning some of the other attractive groupings.
It’s a special joy for us when we get to handle something we’ve never had before. Lot 37, a “SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CRICKETERS’ GUIDE. Season 1876-77” Compiled by W.D. Wiltridge, is just such an object. It’s very rare, very early by Australian cricket standards, and almost certainly missing from most serious collections – public and private. We have had the pleasure of describing and offering the lot for your consideration, and trust it will find a good home. The strong W.G. Grace autograph on a photo postcard (Lot 68) is a great way to represent this iconic cricketer in your collection. The later eras of cricketing history are also well represented, with a rare Bradman State representative cap – his earliest (Lot 148), a remarkable Bodyline Ashes series signed bat (Lot 162) and Alan Border’s Australian Team Helmet, circa 1980 (Lot 265) just a few amongst the many highlights. The assembly of team sheets and autograph pages (Lots 331 – 382) is one of the best we’ve had for a long time.
The Australian Rules Football section (Lots 385 to 626) is also very strong, kicking off with the intriguing carte-de-visite on our front cover (Lot 385). Hopefully one of the historians amongst you will be able to identify this strapping young footballer and the team he played for. Early photographs in full sporting outfits are particularly rare. The next item, the 1896 Collingwood Premiership Medal in 15ct yellow gold awarded to William ‘Bill’ Strickland, the Collingwood Captain (lot 386) is equally remarkable in that it has never been on the market, having been retained by the family for the 124 years since Collingwood won its’ first premiership. The other items from Strickland’s estate (Lots 387 – 390) are also offered to the public for the first time. We hope you enjoy our background write-ups and seeing these rare early pieces. The extensive collection of “Football Records” from the estate of the late William Grover (Lots 560 – 623) will excite those of you searching for the elusive missing dates in your collections.
In other sporting fields, we must mention the Walter Lindrum Worlds’ Record cue (Lot 9), the Muhammad Ali signed photo (Lot 11), the 1933-34 KANGAROO TOUR OF GREAT BRITAIN badged Rugby League Jersey (Lot 627), the Donald Campbell signed group (Lot 669), the great PAM KILBORN’s 1964 Olympic Team blazer (Lot 697) and the fabulous tennis poster featuring Lew Hoad (Lot 714).
We hope the catalogue brings you some joy, a little light relief, a reminder of happy times in the past and the prospect of good times in the future.
Keep smiling, keep safe and keep in touch,
With best wishes from all of us at Leski Auctions.
022-034 British Commonwealth & Empire Games
035-067 Cricket – 19th Century
068-145 Cricket – 1900-1927
146-216 Cricket – The Bradman Years
217-324 Cricket – 1949 – recent
325-330 Cricket – Cigarette & Trade Cards
331-383 Cricket – Team Sheets & Autograph Pages
385-626 Football – Australian Rules
385-502 Football (Australian Rules) – Chronological listing 1880s – 2015
503-559 Football (Australian Rules) – Cigarette & Trade Cards
560-626 Football (Australian Rules) “Football Records” and similar publications
627-629 Football (Rugby League)
630-633 Football (Rugby Union)
634-642 Football (Soccer)
647-667 Horse Racing
668-675 Motor Sports
676-711 Olympic Games
WALTER LINDRUM: A full-sized cue with an engraved ivory plaque "The WALTER LINDRUM Worls Champion Cue * Break 4,137" in fine condition and housed in an ALCOCK & CO., Melbourne metal case.
Est: $500 - $750
MUHAMMAD ALI signed photograph depicting "The sports photo of the century" - the moment he knocked out Sonny Liston, Round 1, 25th May, 1965. Framed and glazed, with Superstars & Legends Guarantee of Authenticity sticker and certificate. Overall 57 x 54cm.
Est: $400 - $500
"SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CRICKETERS' GUIDE. Season 1876-77" Compiled by W.D. Wiltridge. Published by E.S.Wigg & Sons, Booksellers. Original yellow linen over boards, 60pp.
First edition of a very rare Australian annual.
Est: $5,000 - $7,500
W.G. GRACE signed photographic postcard; framed and glazed, overall 31.5 x 20cm.
Est: $600 - $800
DON BRADMAN'S NEW SOUTH WALES STATE CAP, circa 1928
A New South Wales state cricket team cap, blue wool, State badge worked in ivory and red silk, Farmers Sydney label inscribed "D.BRADMAN" in black ink. Offered together with a letter to the original vendor (dated December 1999)
Est: $25,000 - $35,000
AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND - FOURTH TEST at BRISBANE, February 1933 - The "BODYLINE" Crisis
A fill-sized SYKES "Don Bradman World Record" bat signed on the reverse by 17 members of the English Touring squad and the 12 Australians in Brisbane for the match. With further annotations at the foot including "England won by 6 wickets 3 runs. This match gave England "The Ashes".
Est: $5,000 - $10,000
ALAN BORDER'S AUSTRALIAN TEAM HELMET, circa 1980
Handmade fibreglass shell with the team coloured green fabric overlaid; the Australian coat of arms affixed to the front, with a perspex protective screen, the whole unit made by Coonan & Denlay of Sydney. Match worn.
Est: $500 - $750
THE AUSTRALIAN TOURING SIDE - 1921: 13 original signatures cut from an autograph book and laid down on card. All strong ink with W.W. Armstrong (Capt.) at the top, followed by Tommy Andrews, Edgar Mayne, Jack Ryder, Stork Hendry, Hanson Carter, Arthur Mailey, Charles Macartney, Jack Gregory, Johnny Taylor, Warren Bardsley, Bill Oldfield & C.E. Pellew.
Est: $750 - $1,000
A bearded footballer in full playing outfit with inflated oval ball at his side, circa 1880
Est: $200 - $400
COLLINGWOOD PREMIERSHIP MEDAL - 1896
1896 Collingwood Premiership Medal, 15ct yellow gold, Maltese Cross shape with front engraved with magpie, 'Premiers' & '1896', reverse engraved 'Collingwood F.C., Presented by J.Cross Esq, To W.S. STRICKLAND, CAP'T'. Hallmarked three part mark for Robert Robertson & Son [Melbourne 1877-1921].
Est: $10,000 - $15,000
BILL STRICKLAND'S 18ct gold pocket watch, presented to him by the Collingwood Football Club, with his initials "WS" engraved on the front and "CF" engraved on reverse; white enamel dial with Roman numerals. "S. Kozminsky, Melbourne" engraved on the mechanism.
Est: $2,000 - $2,500
The Football Record: 2nd Semi-Final - Richmond v Essendon, 11th September 1943. Although Richmond lost the 2nd Semi they went on to win the Grand Final by defeating Essendon 12.14 (86) to 11.15 (81), in front of a crowd of 42,100 (approx.) people.
Est: $80 - $120
The 1933-34 KANGAROO TOUR OF GREAT BRITAIN: A1933 badged Rugby League Jersey (number removed) believed to have been worn by JIM GIBBS [1909 - 1996]; accompanied by a Christmas greeting card (signed Jim Gibbs) with panoramic photograph of the sixth Australian Rugby League Kangaroos team, World tour 1937-1938, of which Gibbs was a member. (2 items).
Est: $750 - $1,000
DONALD CAMPBELL: A group comprising a 1956 two-page letter on his personal letterhead regarding the writer's ingenious idea for a new method of attachment for automobile road wheels; two postcards of 'Bluebird K7'; plus large photograph of 'Bluebird K7' with inset portrait. All 4 items are signed in ink by Campbell.
Est: $800 - $1,000
PAM KILBORN AT THE TOKYO OLYMPICS: Pam Kilborn's Australian Team Blazer, with Australian Coat-of-Arms & "Olympic Games 1964" embroidered on pocket; her team name badge; her official team lapel badge (kangaroo over Olympic rings) by Stokes; Official Badge with ribbon for Competitor in original case; Participation Medal in wooden box;.....
Est: $2,000 - $3,000
SECOND TROFEO FACIS 1963: 23rd & 24th September tournament poster depicting Lew Hoad in action. The competition brought together a number of professional tennis players - including several Australians - who competed for the trophy and shared in the proceeds of ticket sales. A rare poster, laid down on linen, overall 139 x 100cm.
Est: $800 - $1,200