There are then two instances of multiple cards from the series coming up for auction in decent numbers. In July 2016, a UK based company, Special Auction Services, auctioned 15 cards from the series, including a photograph of 8 cards. That photograph features a card of England captain Percy Chapman that is not among the 32 cards of which we hold the originals. The other 7 players are Maurice Leyland, Jack Hobbs, George Duckworth and Maurice Tate of England, along with Alan Kippax, Hunter Hendry and Bill Ponsford of Australia. However the image doesn’t include Bradman, albeit it’s possible the image of the other 7 cards could have included a Bradman, but if indeed one card was Bradman, it seems unlikely that his card wouldn’t feature in the main photograph that the auctioneer would choose to show.
What we knew from the original 32 cards is that the England players are all in the early part of the series. It’s now known that Chapman’s card, which states he is the “(Capt. English Team)” is card No.1, and the first player card we had before George’s help was Jack Hobbs, who is card No.3. The first Australian player card we knew about was Bill Ponsford, Australian opening batsman, card No.18. So it seemed likely, until the kind intervention of George from Sydney, there were 17 English player cards, of which we have 12. The England tour party totalled 17 selected players, so we could pretty much deduce with an element of certainty that the missing player cards were:
- Percy Chapman (Kent)
- Jack White (Somerset)
- Patsy Hendren (Middlesex)
- Ernest Tyldesley (Lancashire)
- Sam Staples (Nottinghamshire)
However we were wrong! Sam Staples played in the last 3 Test matches against South Africa and was selecteded for the Ashes Tour party, however he fell evidently seriously ill and was either sent home on arrival or perhaps never even boarded the ship’s gangplank. George’s cards confirm that he is not included, that veteran Australian Test player Jack Ryder is included at no.17, so Jack White’s card, of which we still don’t have a copy and thanks to George it remains the only card we don’t have, is by default no.2, which makes sense as he was vice captain.
The missing Australian player cards were much harder to guess at, however they are cards 24, 25 and 26. Jack Ryder (the only confirmed missing card we now know is card 17), Clarrie Grimmett and Jack Gregory all featured in the First Test, Otto Nothling featured in the Second Test, Ted a’Beckett in the Third and Fourth Tests, and Percy Hornibrook played in the Fifth Test, as did Jack Ryder who was recalled, and who, see is confirmed as one of the missing Australians. It was hard to imagine that Grimmett was not among the three cards, and indeed George’s intervention confirmed that in addition to Ryder the other missing players are Jack Gregory, Otto Nothling and Clarrie Grimmett.
The second auction occurred 9 years earlier in March 2007 at the Australian auction house Leski & Co of Melbourne. They auctioned 12 cards of the 40 which they described as an “extremely rare set”, and noted in addition to a photograph of Percy Chapman’s card that the lot was “including A.P.F. Chapman, J.C. White & W. Oldfield”. So it seems absolutely unlikely that Bradman was amongst the other 9 cards or for sure he would have been mentioned. It seems the same auction is featured on the Carter’s website, again using the photograph of Percy Chapman’s card, noting that the lot is “including A.P.F. Chapman, J. Ryder and A. Jackson”. Again, Bradman would have been mentioned if he was one of the 12 cards going under the hammer.