Complete set of John Wisden's Cricketer's Almanack's
Lot 43
Complete set of John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanacks
Sold for £84,000 (US$ 141,043) inc. premium
Auction Details
Complete set of John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanacks Complete set of John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanacks Complete set of John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanacks
Lot Details
Complete set of John Wisden's Cricketers' Almanacks
A fine collection of all 144 volumes issued from 1864 to 2007 along with 2 index issues, one covering the years 1864 to 1943 and the other 1864 to 1984, the entire set handsomely bound in uniform brown half morocco by Bayntun-Riviere of Bath, photographic plates in volumes 1889 and 1891-1915, some volumes with original wrappers bound in, 8vo, J. Wisden.

The vendor collected this set over the last 20 years and bought sufficient morocco goatskins and end papers to ensure that the set could be uniformly bound through to 2030, the residue of these are included in the lot for sale.


  • Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (often referred to as "the Bible of Cricket") is not just the best known reference book for cricket, it is also one of the most famous sports reference books published. It was founded in 1864 by the English cricketer John Wisden (1826-1884) as a competitor to Fred Lillywhite's The Guide to Cricketers. Its annual publication has continued uninterrupted to the present day, making it the longest running sports annual in history. The sixth edition was the first published under its current title; the first five were published as The Cricketer's Almanack. It has had only 15 editors in over 140 years. Wisden is a small-paged but very thick book (over 1,500 pages in modern editions) with a distinctive bright yellow cover that it has carried since the 75th edition in 1938 – in previous years, covers varied between yellow, buff and salmon pink. The 75th edition was the first to display the famous woodcut of two Victorian cricketers, by Eric Ravilious, on its cover. It is published each year in April, just before the start of the English domestic cricket season. The woodcut has been replaced by a photograph of a current cricketer in recent editions, starting with Michael Vaughan in 2003. Collecting old Wisdens is a popular activity among cricket followers, and early editions command high prices. The first edition, only 112 pages long, sold for 1 shilling, but copies in good condition can sell for over £20,000. The editions published during the two World Wars are also very rare, as a result of wartime paper restrictions.

    Full condition report available upon request. Please note, as with all lots of this nature, it is sold not subject to return due to the complexity of collation.
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