Bill Cunningham All Black cap – £7000 at Rogers Jones.

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That rugby jersey worn by All Black Dave Gallaher was sold for a £180,000 hammer price in 2015.

On June 14 this year Rogers Jones sold a New Zealand rugby cap earned by one of Gallaher’s teammates, Bill Cunningham, for £7000 against an estimate of £1200-1800.

Cunningham was another of the ‘Originals’ who toured the British Isles, France and North America in 1905. He played 23 of the 32 matches although he was not available for the famous Wales match which was the only defeat on that tour.

He was the grandson of the famous New Zealand founder-father Thomas Halbert, a whaler and trader from England who landed in Poverty Bay in 1832.

Cunningham was first picked for New Zealand in 1901 and played against New South Wales that year, but was not selected again until the 1905 Originals’ tour.

After the tour he continued to represent New Zealand in both 1907 and 1908. Affiliating to Rongowhakaata, he was then a member of the first ever New Zealand Maori team in 1910, and played for them again in 1912. On retirement in 1913 he had appeared for Auckland 45 times and for New Zealand 39 times.

The cap came to auction fresh to the market consigned by a family living in Auckland, New Zealand. A handwritten letter accompanying the cap outlines its route to the family via a great uncle Robert Wylie ‘Dick’ McGregor, a fellow New Zealand capped player with Auckland. Also in the lot was a facsimile congratulatory telegram dated 1906 between the two men.

Black to gold

On March 1 Rogers Jones sold another significant 1905 All Blacks shirt, worn during the first Rugby Union test match to be held in New Zealand between the All Blacks and Australia – won 14-3 by the hosts. It sold just below top estimate at £39,000.

The wearer was full-back Hubert Sydney ‘Jum’ Turtill (1880-1918). He received just one All Blacks cap before switching to play rugby league for the NZ team dubbed ‘All Golds’.