CRICKET AUTOGRAPH BOOK 1925-1933Various
Small notebook with a collection of cricketers' autographs and photograph. 160x100mm. 132pp. Bound in black morocco with "Album" stamped in gilt on the upper cover and "WHS" (WH Smith) in blind on the lower cover. Recently and expertly rebacked, slight bumping to corners but overall in extremely good condition. Marbled endpapers. Forty five pages contain either photographs (sixteen photographs in total) or signatures of cricketers dating from 1925-1933. The front pastedown and front free endpaper provide details of the collector of these photographs and autographs. He is Nick Gilling from Southbourne on Sea in Hampshire. He was a member of Hampshire CCC. A short biography shows that he was born in India in 1914, was at Mount Pleasant prep school between 1923-27 where he was awarded his cricket colours in 1925. He then attended Charterhouse between 1927 and 1933 and received his house cricket colours in 1930. He was a Hampshire Hogget between 1928 and 1932 and was at Cambridge between 1933 and 1936. This charming autograph book is a record of the young Gilling's interest in Test and County cricket during his teenage years. For the cricket historian, there are some wonderful names and photographs here. Two Australian touring sides feature including the great 1930 side, the star autograph being that of Don Bradman. There is also a postcard of Bradman sent to Gilling at school. The 1929 South Africans are here but perhaps the most interesting is The West Indies Team of 1928. This was the first team from the Caribbean to play Test cricket and this tour to England was their first foray into the international game. The star name is, of course, Learie Constantine. There are plenty of county cricketers featured as Gilling collected photographs and signatures of entire teams, presumably when they played at Hampshire. This was a golden age for English Cricket and there are some wonderful autographs here: Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe, Les Ames, Maurice Tate, Frank Woolley, Wilfred Rhodes, Maurice Leyland. We were also very pleased to note that the first signature is that of L.H.Tennyson who captained Hampshire from 1919-1932. He was the grandson of the poet thus demonstrating that cricket, as well as being the world greatest game, is its most literary.