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Auction: Sporting Memorabilia
was auctioned on: 15 November 2006
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Estimate: £5,000 - £8,000
ca. US$9,556 - US$15,290
Price realised:  £9,600
ca. US$18,348
Lot number 172, Views: 69

AN EARLY AUTOGRAPHED BAT, c.1890-1920 manufactured by G.G. Hearne, bearing 169 player signatures, the front with 83 signatures, headed by W.G. Grace, includes the 1899 Australian touring team and the 1907 South Africa touring team (lower half with repaired wooden strips, two nailed, end of bat chipped), the reverse with 86 signatures including Lord Hawke, Ranjitsinhji, C.B. Fry, A.C. MacLaren, W.W. Read, A. Shrewsbury, G.H. Hirst, J.B. Hobbs (varnish staining on some signatures), top of blade reinforced with stringing (left shoulder chipped), in fitted display case with players names inscribed on case. It is believed the bat was presented to the Oxford and Lancashire cricketer, Gerald Bardswell, by W.G. Grace as one of Grace's own used bats. His aunt, (Isabella) Emily Bardswell collected the autographs later. Emily Bardswell is perhaps best known for the pamphlet she wrote, "Played on", or, The Troubles of a County Captain , London, [1898]. The pamphlet is dedicated "by special permission" to W.G. Grace. As a keen cricket enthusiast and avid supporter of her nephew, Gerald Bardswell, she would take bats to cricket matches to be signed - "Her passion for the game was apparently known to a wider circle in Wimbledon, particularly because of her collection of autographed cricket bats, bats which she herself took to major matches for signature" (Derek Deadman and Christopher Sheppard, 'The Bardswells: Fact and Fiction', Leicester, 1979, p.22). Gerald Bardswell toured with Lord Hawke's XI to North America in 1894 and to the West Indies in 1896/7. He played 21 matches for Lancashire between 1894 and 1902 and was on both the Lancashire and M.C.C. Committees. He died unexpectedly at the age of 33. The vendor is a descendant of the Bardswell family. AN EXTREMELY RARE BAT SIGNED BY THE LEADING PLAYERS OF THE GOLDEN AGE

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Sporting Memorabilia
Date of the auction: 15 Nov 2006
Address: Christie's
15 November 2006, London, South Kensington