Auction Date: 18/07/2019 at 10:15 am
1924 Printed Rugby Poem, ‘The Last of the Twenty-Eight”: William Pember Reeves (1857-1932), writer, poet, politician and diplomat. Reeves was agent-general and later High Commissioner for New Zealand in the United Kingdom from 1896 until 1908. One of the last poems by Reeves, who had also played rugby and cricket for Canterbury, was this tribute to the Invincible All Blacks of 1924-25 after the England match, their 28th consecutive win and last of the UK leg of their tour. At the banquet in their honour at the Piccadilly Hotel, attended by the Prince of Wales, dignitaries, and 300 sportsmen allowed to wear lounge suits for the occasion, they were presented with a ‘loving cup’ inscribed with these 11 8-line classic-style verses ‘composed by the Hon. William Pember Reeves, which are intended to be given whenever the cup is used in functions in New Zealand.’ It was timed at 10 pm on Sat 3rd January, 1925. Wear to right hand extremities of the sheet, showing creases and some foxing to the well-produced 13” x 11.5” four-fold thick-paper item. Fascinating glimpse of the end of the great tour nearly a century on.