Want to own a slice of Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) history? Check out an international art sale in South Kensington in London on November 17.
Christie's will offer precious relics of international cricket from one of the oldest and most famous sporting establishments — MCC. These include a selection of cricket bibliography comprising poems, score books and publications. The MCC expects to raise more than 300,000 pounds.
The lots to be offered will be duplicate of the original collection and the proceeds will be used by MCC to sustain core antiquities and acquire more cricket-related trivia. The first independent works on cricket ever published were verse accounts of cricket matches, mock heroic poems in the genre established by Alexander Pope's “Rape of the Lock” (1714).
One of the 18th century poems is the anonymous “The Noble Cricketers … addresss'd to Two of the Idlest Lords in His Majesty's Kingdom”. Composed in 1778, it is a satire on two famously indolent, cricket-loving aristocrats, the Duke of Dorset and the Earl of Tankerville. It is estimated at 10,000 pounds.
The importance of these works is highlighted by the fact that their author, Britcher, was an official scorer for MCC, and the first person to produce an annual scorebook on a regular basis. Said the curator of MCC Collections, Adam Chadwick: “The MCC collections continue to attract an increasing number of admirers, and in 2009 we set a record having welcomed 60,000 people through the doors.”