Sir Donald Bradman’s first test cap has been sold for $450,000, setting a new record for one of the cricket legend’s baggy greens, less than a week after it failed to meet its reserve price at auction.
The 1928 cap was put up for sale online just under a fortnight ago and, despite predictions it could fetch more than $1 million, only attracted a top bid of $391,500.
But auction house Pickles today confirmed it had sold for a “record-breaking” figure, and had been purchased by businessman Peter Freedman, founder and chairman of Sydney electronics company Rode.
Gavin Dempsey from Pickles said it was a record sale price for a Bradman baggy green.
The sale price surpasses the amount fetched for Bradman’s 1948 cap, which sold at auction for $425,000 in 2003.
The cap attracted extra interest because of its connection to former accountant and convicted fraudster Peter Dunham, who was gifted the cap when he was a young neighbour of Bradman.
Victims of Dunham, who was jailed earlier this year, had expressed hopes the sale of the cap could help recoup funds stolen from them.
Mr Freedman has said he intends to tour the cap around the country in early 2021, and is pleased to be able to share a piece of memorabilia from the “Aussie legend”.
“Not only [was he] one of our greatest talents on the sporting field and one of the most revered athletes of all time, but [he was] an icon of Australian fortitude and resilience,” Mr Freedman said.
“All too often, memorabilia such as this ends up spending its life on the wall of some board room or in some basement bar of a well-heeled sports fanatic. I want as many people to enjoy it as possible.
“I have some exciting plans for the baggy green that will see it travel the country and shared with sports fans and cricketing communities.”
The cap has been on loan to the State Library of South Australia since 2003.
Mr Dempsey said ensuring Bradman’s baggy green gets shared with the Australian public was the best outcome.
“We’re thrilled the Australian people can get close to this iconic piece of sporting memorabilia and we thank Mr Freedman for facilitating an ongoing appreciation of Sir Donald Bradman’s achievements,” Mr Dempsey said.
The current record price for a baggy green remains just over $1 million, for Shane Warne’s Test cap.
Mr Freedman’s other recent purchases include one of Kurt Cobain’s acoustic guitars, for $9 million.