London, South Kensington
19 June 1998
AN 18TH-CENTURY CRICKET BAT (pre-1787), of light wood, possibly willow, with right-handed curve and distinctive hook-shape to base, no shoulders, made by William Pett with two impressed marks "W. Pett 4" on top of handle and "Will. Pett Sevenoaks Kent" on base, overall length 38¼in., width at centre of blade just over 4in., max width of base 2½in., weight 29oz. or almost 2lb.
Again, the curving shape of this bat and type of maker's mark are consistent with it being made in the 18th century, though in which decade is much more difficult to determine. There are some heavy indenations to the bat face, the result of its being used for a hammering action of some sort, quite possibly the putting in of stumps, and there are stains and just a few scattered worm-holes to the back. The condition is otherwise sound with the twine grip still preserved on handle. Because it is slightly lighter and shorter in length than the preceding bat, though in every other respect of the same model, one may speculate that it was intended for use by a boy or youth rather than an older player.
Provenance: Hollin Hall, Nr. Ripon, North Yorkshire. The bookcase, behind which the bat was discovered earlier this year, is pictured above.
Illustrated in colour on the back of this catalogue.
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