1909 Ashes Urn sells for $80,600 at Leonard Joel

The 1909 Ashes Urn which was presented to Australia’s Cricket Captain Monty Noble on his team’s victory over England, sold for $80,600 at Leonard Joel today.

Max Williamson, Head of Sporting Memorabilia at Leonard Joel said, ‘The Ashes Urn is the pinnacle for any Cricketing Memorabilia collector and this particular urn, being one of only three we know of still in private hands, is the most important piece of Cricketing Memorabilia to appear on the market for many, many years.’

‘We were honoured to be entrusted with such an important piece of cricketing history by the Noble family, and we are thrilled with the result.’

Although it stands at only approximately 10cm high, the Ashes Urn has, since its inception, been the most fiercely contested trophy in Test cricket, and represents the enduring competition between Australia and England.

The ‘Ashes’ originates from the 1882 Test series when Australia played and defeated England – the first defeat for England on home soil – and journalist Reginald Brooks published his now famous obituary in The Sporting Times (illustrated below), mourning the ‘death’ of ‘English Cricket and stating the ‘Ashes’ would be taken to Australia.

Later that year Ivo Bligh captained England’s team on their tour to Australia, and the British media dubbed the tour a quest to regain ‘The Ashes’.

England won the Test series 2-1 and a group of Melbourne ladies, including his future wife, Florence Morphy and her companion, Lady Clarke, presented Bligh with a small urn inside a velvet bag, said to contain ‘The Ashes’.

Over the years, several urns were created to symbolise the mythical ‘Ashes’ and held aloft by victorious teams (further details below). However, the Monty Noble urn, which was presented to him by Ivo Bligh’s wife, Lady Darnley, is one of only three known remaining urns in private hands (two of which are on loan to Melbourne Cricket Club Museum).

Elsewhere in the auction, a gold engraved Vesta case from The Monty Noble Collection sold for $3,720 and Dennis Lillee’s Baggy Green for $12,400.

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