Graham Budd Auctions is holding a special online auction commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first polo game to be played in England.

The game, played by colonials in India for some years, was played at Caesar’s Camp in Aldershot between Cornet Edward ‘Chicken’ Hartopp and friends using walking sticks and a cricket ball. Hartopp had read a letter in The Field magazine dated 20th March 1869 in which a correspondent wrote about a game that was becoming popular among Europeans in the subcontinent.

Many of the 200-plus lots in the sale are from the collections of Nigel A’Brassard, a well-known historian and player within the polo world, and Iain Brunt, founder of the website antiques.co.uk, and associate of Les Diables Bleus, the club whose most famous player is HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. Other pieces have come from various polo clubs and are being sold for charity.

Among the highlights of the sale is an original 1921 pen and ink cartoon by Ernest Howard Shepard (1879-1976) for Punch magazine (above).

The scene humorously suggests that the Ashes cricket test match at Lord’s and the Westchester Cup polo match at Hurlingham might be played simultaneously for the convenience of American visitors to the London sporting summer season. The cartoon is expected to fetch £800-1200. 

The timed internet auction (on thesaleroom.com) will take place in the middle of the UK polo season, from June 29 and ending on the evening of July 15.

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