Rare Bradman batting glove a Melbourne auction phenomenon
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th September, 2023
An extremely rare batting glove used by Australian iconic batsman Don Bradman in an actual match (lot 231) is a major highlight of Melbourne-based Leski Auctions forthcoming sporting memorabilia two-day sale from 12pm Friday September 22 and Saturday September 23 at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.
A right-hand glove, according to director Charles Leski it is the only example he has auctioned in 30 years of handling sporting memorabilia items.
“It is part of an extensive cricketing collection by the late Cecil Cooke, who for many years was honorary secretary of the Singapore Cricket Association before eventually moving to Perth in Western Australia, where he died in May 2020,” he said.
The glove is attractively mounted, framed and glazed with an original signed and dedicated photograph of Bradman, whom Cooke knew for about 30 years.
It is accompanied by correspondence from December 1975 to January 1976 between the two men, where Cooke acknowledges Bradman’s “magnificent gesture in sending me your glove”.
Charles Leski said Cooke, who was popular among the cricketing fraternity and appeared to assemble much of his collection through personal contact, always managed to convince Australian and New Zealand players to stop in Singapore en route to their overseas tours and talk to the local clubs.
Another important item in the collection is the 22 years of long and detailed correspondence between Cooke and Sir Donald and Lady Jessie Bradman beginning in November 1975 until just before the latter’s death in September 1997 (lot 268).
Former Australian wicketkeeper Bert Oldfield’s (1894-1976) New South Wales team cap, complete with his name in pen and details of his career, displayed in a glazed timber case (lot 223) is another Cooke item bound to interest collectors.
One of the most valuable auction lots is former Australian captain Bob Simpson’s 1961 “baggy green” Test team cap, with his name typed on the label (lot 153), and carries a catalogue estimate of $20,000-$25,000.
Australia won the series against the West Indies – which also featured the famous Tied Test in Brisbane – two to one, with Simpson making two centuries and six scores of more than 70 runs.
Simpson gave the cap to his good friend England Test player Ken Barrington and his widow sold it after he died in June 2000.
Another baggy green (lot 154), awarded to Australian wicketkeeper Barry Jarman on his selection for the 1962-63 Ashes tour, is estimated at $8000-$10,000. Jarman played 19 tests for Australia between December 1959 and January 1969.
A Bodyline series (1932-33) bat used by Australian batsman Jack Ryder (lot 109) is another fascinating piece of cricketing memorabilia.
It has been signed by both the entire English touring party of 19 and the 14-man Australian squad including Bill Woodfull, Vic Richardson, Stan McCabe, Bill O’Reilly, Don Bradman and Clarrie Grimmett.
The Bodyline series was infamous for the English tactics of bowling short to a leg side trap field which, under their captain Douglas Jardine, proved extremely effective.
The following lot, 110, features cricket stumps from the Second Test in the same series, played in Melbourne.
With September Australian Football League (AFL) finals currently on everyone’s lips, no doubt there will be significant interest in made keen Carlton supporter, the late Alan Vivian’s collection (lots 355-534).
Of particular note is the 1907 Victorian Football League (VFL) premiership cap (lot 382) awarded to Carlton’s Archie Snell, who played 92 games for the club between 1902 and 1907.
Another is the 1908 VFL premiership medal awarded to Carlton’s William Payne (lot 386), along with his premiership cap from the same year (lot 389).
There are various Carlton membership season tickets bound to interest the club faithful including ones from 1875 to 1880 (lots 355-358) and again from 1886 to 1890 (lots 360-362).