Collecting Articles and Features

Cricket Memorabilia and Collectables An Overview

Please share on your social media

Few sports carry the rich history and global appeal of cricket, a game that enthralls millions worldwide. The fandom stretches beyond the green fields into a thriving market of memorabilia and collectables, with enthusiasts seeking pieces of cricketing history that evoke emotions and immortalize iconic moments. This article shines a spotlight on the exciting world of cricket memorabilia and collectables, examining treasured artifacts from The Ashes, County Cricket, International Cricket, and an array of Signed Books, Bats, and Shirts.

Extremely Rare and Early 18th Century Cricket Bat
Extremely Rare and Early 18th Century Cricket Bat – a fascinating cricket bat, shaped like an enlarged hockey stick and bears matching characteristics to one of the earliest known examples displayed at The Oval pavilion. This particular example is a left-handed bat, length is 38″ (96.5cm), weight 3lbs (1.36kg) and at its widest point is 4″ (10cm) wide. It has evidence of use to hammer in stumps, there are screws to the bottom of the shaft where likely a plaque was once attached, the top of the handle has pins and a slit to suggest evidence of a cord binding at some stage, there is a large crack throughout the head of the bat with a chip to the top. It is possible this was caused as a result of dealing with the grub bowling style that was used during that period (see M.C.C. Collection Print ‘The Game of Cricket as played in the Artillery Ground, London, 1743’ by Francis Hayman R. A). This style of bat became obsolete when a third stump was introduced in 1780. This example was originally obtained via the Taylor family who are connected to the Clapshaw Business. Purportedly rescued from Breaston CC Derbyshire (1836), once on display in the pavilion in the Soldier and Sailor Sports Ground. Sold for £10,000 at Mullocks Specialist Auctioneers & Valuers, September 2018.

Cricket, in its earliest form, can trace its roots back to Tudor England, in the 16th-century. It’s believed the sport originated from children’s games, but it wasn’t until the late 17th-century that the sport gained more widespread recognition among adults1. By the 18th-century, cricket had evolved into a major sport in England, with the formation of the first cricket club, ‘The Hambledon Club,’ and the establishment of the ‘Laws of Cricket’ by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1788.

A rare Victorian papier-mache oval tray painted with Cricket in the Artillery Ground after Francis Hayman
A rare Victorian papier-mache oval tray, painted with ‘Cricket in the Artillery Ground’ after Francis Hayman, mounted on a later stand to form a table, the tray: 61 x 75.4cm. The original painting by Francis Hayman can be found in the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lords. It depicts an early game of cricket being played with a thin curved club and the wicket keeper believed to be William Hogarth who was a friend of Hayman. In the mid 18th century the Artillery Ground, Finsbury was the sport’s focal point and home of the London Cricket Club. Sold for £3,200 at Woolley & Wallis, April 2016.

The sport gradually spread throughout the British Empire during the 19th and 20th centuries, with the first international match played in 1844 between the USA and Canada. As the game expanded, different formats evolved. Test cricket began in 1877 with a match between England and Australia, followed by One Day Internationals (ODIs) in the 1970s, and Twenty20 cricket in the early 2000s.

This humble pastime, originating from England’s rural pastures, has transformed over the centuries into a globally beloved sport. The rich history of cricket is encapsulated in the fascinating world of cricket memorabilia and collectables, allowing enthusiasts to own a piece of this remarkable journey.

1772 Cricket Rules to be Observed by the Players at Cricket
1772 Cricket Rules to be Observed by the Players at Cricket. Sold for £1,100 at Forum Auctions, May 2022.

The Ashes

The Ashes represents an iconic clash of cricketing titans – England and Australia. Treasures from these contests span across decades and can include items as diverse as vintage match programs and tickets, signed photos of legendary cricketers, and even replicas of the coveted Ashes urn. Memorabilia associated with historical moments or luminaries, such as Sir Don Bradman, command particularly high interest in auctions. Items related to the late, great Shane Warne are becoming very collectable and even more recent stars such as Ben Stokes are attracting interest.

Shane Warne hand signed action photograph, taking his 700th Test Wicket at the MCG v England
Shane Warne hand signed action photograph, taking his 700th Test Wicket at the MCG v England. Sold for £320 at Graham Budd Auctions September 2022.

International Cricket

On the international stage, cricket gives rise to a host of collectables that encapsulate the game’s most thrilling and momentous occasions. These artifacts range from signed balls, caps, shirts, to stumps from Test matches, One Day Internationals, and World Cups. Of special note is World Cup memorabilia, especially items tied to victories or extraordinary performances.

Cricket The Bodyline Tour Douglas Jardine and the Ashes 1932-33 a presentation England cricket ball
Cricket – The Bodyline Tour – Douglas Jardine and the Ashes 1932-33 – a presentation England cricket ball, mounted and applied with a gilt plaque inscribed M.C.C. [Marylebone Cricket Club) N.Z [New Zealand] Tour 1933, First Ball Used in Opening Match. Sold for £650 at Bamfords Auctioneers & Valuers, October 2020.
County Cricket

As the bedrock of English cricket, County Cricket generates a wealth of collectables. From signed bats and balls that were a part of memorable matches to team jerseys and autographed images of renowned cricketers, there is something for every collector. Annual compilations such as Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, offering comprehensive records of each cricket season, also hold a prized place in collections (.

Signed Cricket Books

A discerning cricket enthusiast’s collection often extends beyond the realm of gear and equipment to encompass literature. Autographed books, whether autobiographies or memoirs of esteemed cricketers, provide a personal and insightful view into the sport’s stalwarts, making them unique and treasured collectables. A first edition of Sir Don Bradman’s ‘Farewell to Cricket,’ autographed by the legend himself, is a noteworthy example.

1950 Farewell To Cricket by Don Bradman Signed by Don Bradman
1950 Farewell To Cricket by Don Bradman Signed by Don Bradman. There are quite a few signed editions of he books which includes laid versions e.g. a signature has been added to the book. We have seen examples selling for between £80-£250 / $100-$300 and dealers asking for £500 / $650 plus for fine examples.

Signed Cricket Balls, Bats and Shirts

Signed bats and shirts stand as the quintessential pieces of cricket memorabilia. The value of these items often hinges on the signatures they bear, their context, and the condition of the item itself.

Through its rich history and unforgettable moments, cricket memorabilia and collectables serve as tangible links to the game’s past and present. They are cherished relics that not only stir nostalgia but also keep cricket’s vibrant legacy alive.

Thorne`s Toffee 1926 Australian Cricket Tour Souvenir Tin

Please share on your social media