The sound of leather (ball) against willow (bat) can once again be heard throughout the English countryside, signifying the start of a new cricket season. At Shapero Rare Books we have some wonderful cricketing memorabilia to share with you, including signed photographs of cricketers. Anything to do with celebrated players or matches hold their value because of their legendary status.

TRUMPER, Victor [Cricketer], George Beldam [Photographer]
Black & white photograph signed by Victor Trumper, c.1905

Victor Trumper (1877-1915) is one of Australia’s all-time great cricket batsmen, remarkable for winning games on the most difficult wet surfaces. The image above is a famous photograph of the cricketer during the 1905 Ashes tour by George Beldam, one of the leading early photographers of sports personalities. Breaking the tradition of a more staid form of posed photography, his photographs provided the basis for Chevalier Taylor’s famous series of colour lithographs of cricketers in action. Read more

RANJITSINHJI, Kumar Shri & others.
The Jubilee Book of Cricket, 1897

Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (1872-1933), an Indian prince, was one of the leading batsmen of his day, playing for Sussex and England. He arrived at Cambridge at sixteen never having played an organised game and won a Blue in his final summer.  He marked his debut for Sussex at Lord’s in May 1895 with 77 and 150 against MCC. On his Test debut against Australia, at Old Trafford in 1896, he scored 62 and 154 not out. A year later he produced this book on the evolution of cricket in England called The Jubilee Book of Cricket.

This deluxe limited edition is number 51 of 350 copies, on hand-made paper, signed by Ranjitsinhji, including 20 photogravures in a full morocco ‘Cosway’ style binding by Bayntun-Riviere, inset with a fine oval, original water-colour portrait of Ranjitsinhji to the upper cover.

Chapters range from ‘Training and Outfit’ to ‘Public School Cricket;’ the game at Oxford and Cambridge; ‘Umpiring’; and ‘Cricket and the Victorian Era’.  Read more

A Magnificent Cricket Broadsheet
To the Admirers of the Noble Game of Cricket, c.1850

This striking large cotton commemorative hanging would be an impressive adornment to any cricket lover’s display.

The central illustration is based on a 1847 watercolour drawing in the MCC collection by team member Nicholas Felix, a talented artist as well as cricketer, who included his own portrait in the composition.  The famous Victorian cricketers are surrounded by a decorative border with crossed bats in each corner, an illustration of a cricketer riding a bat (ie. the mammal) at the top, a view of a cricket match in a field below, with the rules of cricket in 4 cartouches at the top and bottom. Read more

HOPPE, Emil Otto.
Cricket, Cheltenham College. c.1950s

Silver gelatin print. Title and photographer’s signature in ink on reverse.

The idyllic setting of Cheltenham College provides the perfect backdrop for cricket at the height of summer.  Emil Otto Hoppé (1878-1972) was a German-born photographer, living in England and was hugely celebrated in his lifetime, photographing the world in all its eccentricity. So, why is he neglected? Partly because his archive was misplaced for years. Explore a huge collection of his photography at Shapero Rare Books on our website.

COLMAN, Jeremiah.
The Noble Game of Cricket, 1941

Sir Jeremiah Colman, 1st Baronet DL (1859-1942) was an industrialist who developed Colman’s Mustard into an international operation. He was also President of Surrey County Cricket Club and produced a limited  book (150 copies) which included pictures, drawings and prints from his collection.

The inserted ephemera include a copy of John Arlott’s poem Cricket at Worcester: 1938 and an autograph letter from C.B. Fry explaining that he has “…got the book of Josiah [sic] from Batsford – it is a value – a king of cameo in prose and verse…”, dated Sept. 17 [19]41. Read more

Looking for more Sporting Memorabilia and Rare Books?

Explore more items in our Sports and Pastimes department. We update our stock continually so there is always something new to discover. For further information contact us or visit our shop in Mayfair.

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