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"The LAWS of the NOBLE GAME of CRICKET as revised by the Club at St Mary-le-bone", 1809
Published by John Wallis Sr. (d. 1818)
London, 25 May 1809
Printed on laid paper
Size (approx.) 44.5 cm x 29 cm (framed)
An attractively toned copy of this scarce and important piece of early cricketing memorabilia.
Printed broadsheet setting out the laws of cricket across three colums of text, beneath an engraved head-piece depicting the scene of a rural game of cricket played in front of a bell tent. With original, contemporary hand-colouring.
The publisher John Wallis of 13 Warwick Square specialised in issuing prints relating to travel, instructive toys and games, sports and pastimes. He had issued a broadsheet on the Laws of cricket "As Established at the Star and Garter in Pall-Mall by a Committee of Noblemen & Gentlemen" in 1785. This scarce and very attractive original print dating to 1809 was issued in the year in which the Laws of cricket were republished in their entirety by the MCC ("the Club at St Mary-le-bone") and reflect the revisions which had been made to the Laws over the intervening years. In the Laws, as published here, "Overs" are still of four balls and "Runs" are referred to as "Notches".
p. 14, Richard Bouwman, "Glorious Innings: Treasures from the Melbourne Cricket Club Collection", Hutchinson, 1987
J.W. Goldman, "Bibliography of Cricket", published privately, printed Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, 1937
168. E.W. Padwick, "A Bibliography of Cricket", 1977. Where described as "Very rare".
Attractively toned over two centuries. Generally good condition, uniformly browned and with foxing. Platemark of the illustrated vignette with slightly lighter colouring. Slight water stain to the top right corner.
Extremely scarce. Not in British Museum.
See Yale 1932.382; MCC Collection at Lord's M.1946.TN.49