Australian football and racing highlighted in auction works

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 16th September, 2021

Leading Australian artist and graphic designer the late Joe Greenberg provides an unavoidable reminder of the impending 2021 Australian Football League and National Rugby League Grand Finals and Melbourne’s forthcoming Spring Racing Carnival through his football posters and artwork as auction goers to Leski Auctions Sporting Memorabilia gather for its online auction from 10am Monday September 20.

Auctioneer Charles Leski will address an empty room as buyers log in online or via absentee or telephone bidding for the 856 items on offer.

The most impressive is Greenberg’s painting of Baghdad Note winning the 1970 Melbourne Cup (lot 739) which adorns the catalogue front cover.

Further reminders of the 1970s can be seen through his Australian Rules football posters (lots 458 to 473, 481 and 483 to 488).

Greenberg’s career spanned five decades after he enrolled in 1940-41 aged 16 at Swinburne School of Art.

During World War II, he served in the Australian Infantry Force in New Guinea and the islands of New Britain, and afterwards returned to study at Swinburne under a Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme award until September 1947 with other famous Australian artists such as Ray Crooke.

The following year an early poster he drew entitled ‘Australia, land of Tomorrow’ and commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Information was displayed in several migrant camps throughout Europe.

Greenberg participated in Melbourne’s rich creative life after World War II, working for the Herald and Weekly Times and the left-wing Guardian newspaper before leaving Australia from 1957-1970 to work as a creative director for various advertising agencies in New York, London and Norway.

Former Australian billiard and snooker champions Walter Lindrum, Horace Lindrum, Joe Davies and Eddie Charlton are remembered through a fine range of cues bearing their names (lots 57 to 72)  - while scattered through the catalogue is a large collection of gold fobs and award medals including lots 122, 124 and 140 for cricket, lots 403, 405 and 407-411 for Australian Rules football, lots 629 and 630 for Rugby League and lot 674 for golf.

Original Don Bradman press photographs are another cricket highlight – particularly lots 207, 219-224, 226 and 252.

Australian Rules football card collectors can go straight to lots 519 to 612, and Olympic card enthusiasts to lots 800 to 806.

Apart from the Baghdad Note painting, other Spring Racing Carnival reminders include a chronological listing from the early days (1825) of organised horse racing in Australia through lots such as 679 and 768.

These join reminders of the heady days of Australia’s champion racehorse from 1930, Phar Lap, (lots 711-722) along with 1971 and 1975 Caulfield Cup memorabilia (lots 745 and 748). 

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