TRUMPER, Victor Thomas (1877-1915). His photograph album of the Australian tour to England, 1909. Oblong 4° (294 x 225mm), containing 86 photographs, 78 being of the 1909 tour and a further 8 of 1902, the first 70 measuring 171 x 120mm. and mounted two to a page, the rest smaller. (Spotting to the mounts and varying degrees of fading to a minority of photographs.) Original red cloth (rebacked and recornered in red morocco, new endpapers). Modern red morocco clamshell box in 'Cosway' style with oval minature oil portrait of Trumper after George Beldam on lid, both sides with gilt borders, gilt-panelled spine, slipcase. Provenance: A gift from Frank Laver as tour manager 'to Victor Trumper ... souvenir of a very successful and pleasant together as members of the 'Thirteenth' Australian Cricket Team Season 1909' (inscription at front) -- A 2-page pencil note, on paper headed 'Victor Trumper & Co.', listing captions for 18 of the photographs (loose in portfolio within the box) -- the album previously sold as lot 109 in these rooms, 23 November 1990, to John Hawkins.
This nostalgic album of Trumper's last tour brings to life the personality of all the Australian players as nothing else can. As John Hawkins's introduction to the facsimile edition (2005) explains, Laver gave similar albums to other team members, though always choosing some pictures specific to the individual. We see the tourists at Coogee Beach, in Colombo and at Suez, at Pompei, then suddenly at Edgbaston, Lord's and Leeds, Henley Regatta, the Oval and Blackpool. Laver's probable contribution ends with player portraits, though the captain, M.A. Noble, is pictured next to Annette Kellerman who swam for Australia in the 1908 Olympics. Trumper himself must have added the smaller photographs to fill the album, a unique souvenir for him, now a compelling treasure for us.