What a year 2020 has been! The lives of every person, all over the world, have been affected, and our home state of Victoria and our city of Melbourne have been doing it tougher than most. Fortunately, we appear to have turned the corner here, and we can look forward to joining the rest of Australia in the relatively “Covid-normal” lifestyle the rest of the country has been observing. We hope you are all healthy and keeping your optimism high.
It’s interesting to think about the role of sport during a time like this, and this week especially, when we farewell the major football codes for the summer months ahead, we can congratulate Richmond and the Melbourne Storm for their premiership wins. Now it’s on to cricket and tennis in the coming months, so let’s hope those events can proceed in safety and with fans able to attend.
The timing of this auction is actually very appropriate. You will see what we mean when you read about our front cover item, the three premiership medals won by Percy Beames, the late Melbourne Hall of Fame inductee, in 1939, 1940 and 1941 [Lot 384]. Just like Dustin Martin, who was named best-on-ground in Richmond’s three premiership wins in the last four years, Percy Beames was also acknowledged as best-on-ground in all three of the premiership wins in which he featured. Of course, in those days there was no Norm Smith Medal, which Martin so richly deserves, but reading the contemporary reports of Beames’ performances, there is no doubt that he would also have been awarded the same accolades. [The Norm Smith Medal was first awarded in 1979].
It’s also interesting to think about the role that sport plays in our national psyche and especially it’s role during difficult times. Bradman achieved his most outstanding scores during the Depression years of the 1930s; Beames was part of the 12 Team V.F.L. Competition which kept Victorians entertained and somewhat distracted during the dark days of World War Two; and this year, while our lives have been upended by the corona virus and the associated restrictions, the rugby teams, Australian football teams, Netball and other sports have done their best to maintain their competitions and made tremendous sacrifices in doing so. As fans and observers, we have been the beneficiaries of those extraordinary efforts. The crowds often couldn’t be at the venues but we’ve been able to watch from the comfort and safety of our homes and that’s helped many of us feel hopeful and “normal”.
The timing of the auction is also opportune because of the inclusion of a terrific range of horse racing memorabilia, which coincides with the Spring Racing carnival. Here’s another sport that has been hugely disrupted by Covid-19, but the passion of the race and the beauty of the magnificent horses can still be appreciated from a distance and also through Lots 557 to 631 in this catalogue. My favourite is the magnificent image of Tommy Woodcock sharing the stable with Reckless, the night before the 1977 Melbourne Cup (Lot 611). It’s just a beautiful moment, captured by a consummate professional photographer, Bruce Postle.
We hope you enjoy leafing through the following pages and we look forward to receiving your bids for this wonderful range of sporting memorabilia.
001-024 Sports – Miscellaneous
052-054 British Empire & Commonwealth Games
055-098 Cricket – 19th Century
099-161 Cricket – 1900 – 1927
162-211 Cricket – 1928 – 1948 The Bradman Years
212-310 Cricket – 1949 – Recent
311-336 Cricket – Cigarette & Trade Cards
337-368 Cricket – Team Sheets & Autograph Pages
372-522 Football – Australian Rules
372-458 Football – Chronological listing 1880s – Recent
459-491 Football – Cigarette & Trade Cards
492-522 Football – “Football Records” and Similar Publications
523-528 Football (Rugby League)
529-535 Football (Rugby Union)
536-546 Football (Soccer)
557-626 Horse Racing
627-631 Horse Racing – Cigarette & Trade Cards
632-636 Motor Racing
637-654 Olympic Games