Thursday, June 23, 2011

cricket anyone?

Michael Harrison-Bonhams

I apologize to my Anglo friends and visitors but I must admit upfront that I know positively NOTHING about cricket. Couldn't name the who's who, don't know the temples of the sport (everyone knows Lord's right?), haven't a clue who the teams are, have no idea what ashes are, couldn't save the gods of the sport if discovered in a police lineup.

In Mayberry, the only hope of seeing cricket played is to wander into the Indian neighborhood, or behind the Hindu Temple on weekends. I rarely stop, unless the food fair is going on.

Knowing nothing is not the same as disinterest. At a garage sale this week I picked up several copies of Cricketers of Vanity Fair by Russell March, not for love of the game, but simply for the clothes.

ADG could wax nostaligic and intelligently about Vanity Fair prints, I'm merely a poser, but a bit of history I do know. VF was published weekly in England from November 1868 until January 1914. On January 23,1869 it was announced that beginning the next week a full page cartoon of an entirely novel character would run. The ubquitous VF prints are its linear descendants.

Most of the following photos are taken from the book and were included in the original print run of the newspaper. Most are Victorian.

You have to appreciate any game adult males (is that an oxymoron?) play that has a dress code. Players trousered in white flannel with the ADG sanctioned 2+ inch cuff.

I'd sell my soul to find a pair of vintage cap toed cricket boots in some ancient relative's closet. Your soul too if they fit. Till then it's bucks for me, unless you have a pair to share. The jacket may be a bit much however.

A striped linen jacket would be nice however.

100 years on even Ralph has gotten the hang of it. Not so sure about the club collars. Is the young lad wearing girl shoes? At his age I would have been whipped like a rented mule before donning white sandals with socks. Even for money.



James said...

A great find!

Anonymous said...


(1) That striped jacket is a bit much? What about that Georgia Bulldog Red number you procured? And I believe the other one was a canary yellow if memory serves correctly(2) Agreed, the lad in the Ralph ad is wearing girl shoes and ditto on being whipped like a mule at his age for donning something so effiminate (3) Thanks for sharing...these VF prints are absolutely elegant (4) Check out Smart Turnout's website for cricket sweaters and caps. Very nice...albeit pricey (5)Great post; thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

"A striped linen jacket would be nice however."

Oh darn, it's a cotton/wool blend:

David V said...

As to the "girl" shoes. That style has been around for decades. I do recall them as popular with post war immigrants from Eastern Europe. They, too, wore them with socks.
I've never before seen them in white.

David V said...

Mrs. Blandings said...

Captivated by the way that boot is laced. Also, thanks for the link, dear friend.

Toad said...

Anon I am discovering the red number may work better as fall attire, or at least I've faded it so that it's going to be. The canary while heavy works great.

Flo striped linen cloth is a bear to find.

Mrs. Blandings as always thank you.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Cricket is still played at my Club in Germantown....and I still have trouble following it...but it is fun to watch from the porch while drinking Meyers's Run & Tonic.
Fairmount Park has an active league and the Indians/Pakis go at it hard with the crew from Barbados and Jamaica

Karena said...

Toad I love all of these images. The Mrs Blandings shot is great.

What finds, your prints are a prize, fabulous!


Art by Karena

Anonymous said...

"girl shoes"

Girl dress; or, Happy Birthday Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David:

a n t o n n i a said...

Speaking of dandy duds, Bill Cunningham's
On the Street
featured just that last Sunday.

Toad said...

Antonia I have the article sitting on my nightstand. I love the photos of the guy in the top row.

Toad said...

Flo, he should have been hung, along with his Duchess.

a n t o n n i a said...

Too funny! I kind of like the comment about the guy with the bicycle...prop?

ADG said...

The striped jacket worn by Lord Dalmeny is an iZingari club jacket. The colors represent Out of darkness (black) Through the fire (red) and Into light (yellow)

One of the fondest memories I have is an evening about fifteen years ago at Rules on Maiden Lane in London. Russ March, Peter of In Vanity Fair and I had a great dinner and three bottles of claret.

You also need a copy of The Jockeys of Vanity Fair.

Toad said...

I've got one.