Auction Date: 25/05/2016 at 10:30 am
Unique collection of 1890s Dunlop Cycling Glass Diapositive Slides - a fantastic opportunity to own a unique ‘snapshot’ of a brief period in the history of competitive cycle racing. Approved photographers for the Crystal Palace, Negretti and Zamba took the original photographs. These superbly presented diapositive slides depict a time period during the height of the 1890’s cycling ‘boom’. Encompassing the specific involvement of the Dunlop company and their teams of human pacer riders. With the exception of a photograph in ‘The Sketch’ in 1897, it is understood that these are the only photographs of the Dunlop pacer team in existence and currently available on the market. These extraordinary photographs expose fascinating scenes of the quad and quint human pacing tandems that were also ridden by professionals allowing the chasing individual to profit from the slipstream. To have actual photographs of these monstrous four and five man Dunlop team tandems apparently on the move is quite unprecedented. However, on closer inspection the photographs appear to have been staged utilising fine wires attached to the track fences, providing an insight into the photographic techniques adopted and also the high demand by the public wanting images of their sporting heroes. The races were often watched by some 20,000 spectators and fuelled the explosion in cycling for the public. The slides provide a distinctly detailed image of the Crystal Palace Velodrome, thought to be the only photographs of the Velodrome in existence. The collection consists of superb photographs highlighting the huge 1.40m high Carwardine Cup in 1897 situated next to Mr. Carwardine and racers at the starting line. There are scarce images that display the Simpson Lever Chain in operation and as featured in the ‘Chain’ races of 1896 between Dunlop Pacers vs Gladiators team from Paris. This fascinating collection of images include profile images of the legendary riders themselves, such as J.W Stocks who broke all the cycling records from six to thirty two miles and who also held the 1 hour record achieving 32.75miles. Scenes of Stocks racing against World Champion opponent Arthur Linton are included who notably marked his greatest triumph by winning the Bordeaux to Paris race. Linton tragically died shortly after from Typhoid Fever aged 24 in June 1896. A case originally believed to be the first cause of death from substance abuse in cycling. Further close up images include Thomas Gascoyne, a world record holder for both 25miles and the flying start quarter mile, he also held the English record for two miles on a tandem, and recorded an unpaced mile in 2minutes 5seconds. There are further more relaxed images of the riders and spectators together with action scenes contained within the collection. A truly unique and extraordinary collection of slides that are without doubt of historical importance and offer an insight into the early days of an ever increasing worldwide sport. Note: The diapositive slides come complete with a highly enthused letter by cycle historian Mr Scotford Lawrence. The letter refers to his article and reiterates the importance of the slides within the cycling world. Please refer to the official journal of the Veteran-Cycle Club ‘The Boneshaker’ issue 200, ‘A Photographic Treasure Trove’ which offers a great article and recommended read.