Collectors in a Spin Over Rare Richie Benaud 'Baggy Green'

Aug 06, 2015, 05:05 ET from Mossgreen

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- "...and Glenn McGrath dismissed for two, just 98 runs short of his century."

It's ironic that the late Richie Benaud, a man who was known to so many and who influenced cricket at the elite level for so long, left very little memorabilia of his sporting life to future generations.  He was one of Australia's finest and most accomplished cricketers and for more than 50 years one of the cricket world's most beloved commentators whose sense of humour was as cutting as his commentary.

No matter where you were, if you were an avid follower of cricket you would have heard the unmistakable voice of Richie Benaud. Radio, TV and print media were as familiar to him as the pitches of the MCG and Lord's, two of the many grounds where he played 63 Tests and countless more first class matches.  He was a public figure who was uncomfortable with celebrity.  He had little time for the commercialisation that increasingly began to infiltrate into sport, with its emphasis on money at the expense of the values that drove earlier generations.  Benaud remained steadfast in his beliefs and the fans loved him for it.

The physical legacy of his distinguished career -- the baggy green caps, the Australian blazers, the signatures and the match-used bats, balls and bails -- are as rare as a Bradman indiscretion.  We know everything about Benaud, but we are unable to hold very much of it in our grasp.  In the world of sporting celebrity, Benaud was an anomaly. 

So when his 'baggy green' cap from his last Test series comes up for public auction at Mossgreen next month, it is a time for celebration.  Interest will be intense and not just from Australian lovers of the game.  He was equally admired in England, India and the sub-continent as well as every other cricket playing nation.

The 'baggy green' in question is embroidered with the Australian Coat-of-Arms and '1963-64' on the front, and endorsed inside 'R. Benaud 11/63'. The cap is in very good condition.

"Benaud has been described as the most influential cricketer in the post-World War Two era," says Max Williamson, a sporting and historical memorabilia specialist with Mossgreen.  "He was one of Australia's most successful cricketers, a distinguished captain who never lost a Test series under his watch, and a commentator who dominated his industry.

"This 'baggy green' is not only significant because it is so rare, but because the man who wore it carried the hopes and dreams of countless Australians on his shoulders."

Lot 240 has a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$50,000. (Contact Nicole Kenning at nicole.kenning@mossgreen.com.au or on +61 (0)424 186 377 for images).

The lot will be offered at auction by Mossgreen in Melbourne on Monday, 7 September at 10.00am.

ABOUT MOSSGREEN

Founded in 2004, Mossgreen is Australia's first combined Auction House and Art Gallery. Recent expansion has seen Mossgreen Auctions become Australia's leading multi-department auction house and in 2014 Mossgreen's auction sales totalled over AUD $30 million.

Mossgreen now offers expertise and auctions in Fine Australian & International Art, Australian Indigenous Art, Asian Art, Jewellery, Luxury Accessories, European Decorative Arts, Stamps & Coins, Sporting Memorabilia and Collectors' Cars & Automobilia.

Mossgreen Gallery represents over twenty-five emerging and established artists including Charles Blackman and Michael Johnson, Yvonne Audette and Deborah Halpern and Kate Bergin, who Mossgreen has exhibited and promoted since the beginning of her career.

Mossgreen Tearooms are open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and high tea. 

Mossgreen is based in Melbourne, with representatives in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Hobart and London.

The Mossgreen Board of Directors are Jack Gringlas, Charles Leski and Paul Sumner.

Mossgreen offers online bidding via 'Mossgreen live(TM)'. Visit www.mossgreen.com.au for more details.

Mossgreen Auctions | Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Mossgreen Gallery  | Monday-Friday 10am-5.30pm & Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm
Mossgreen Tearooms | Monday-Sunday 8am-5pm
926-930 High Street, Armadale VIC 3143
t. +61 (0)3 9508 8888 | e. mail@mossgreen.com.au
www.mossgreen.com.au

Contact:

Max Williamson               
Head of Sporting Memorabilia
t. +61 (0)3 9508 8888
max.williamson@mossgreen.com.au

Nicole Kenning
Marketing & Communications Manager
t: +61 (0)3 9508 8888 / m. +61 (0)424 186 377
nicole.kenning@mossgreen.com.au

SOURCE Mossgreen



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