Eight months ago Brian Meilak of Canberra in Australia decided to collect, from various sources, information on cricket buckles and create a book for himself.
As you can imagine, the compilation has consumed a lot of his time, and meant many late nights. The first volume, a whopping 664 pages showing a total of 442 cricket buckles, is a fantastic resource that can be seen HERE.
Brian reminds us that his online (free) book wouldn’t have been possible without the help of fellow detectorists posting pictures of their amazing finds … and he thanks everyone of you!
And now he’s working on the second volume, due out early next year, and asking for contributions from UK Detectorists. The cricket buckle isn’t a common find in the UK, but I did find a couple of clasps on the UKDFD.
The UKDFD example shows an oval stamped sheet-metal belt clasp. The clasp depicts a shooting scene on the left, a fishing scene on the right, and a cricket bat, ball and wickets in the centre. The loop for attachment to the belt is missing, but the two points at which it was soldered are evident on the back of the clasp. The soldered clasp hook survives.
If you have found a cricket buckle, and would like to contribute to the building of this picture-book, Brian will be happy to receive any photos at this address: email@example.com
If you choose to send pictures, please consider the following:
Please send clear pictures of front and back
Include buckle dimensions
Are there any English registry marks? Can you please send a photo of that as well? Can you read the registry date (See 2.3 English Registry Mark)? Can you send the date as well, as some times the registry mark cannot be read correctly from photos and can only be read in good light with a jeweller’s loupe.
Are there any words or phrases on the buckle (front or back) that are difficult to read? Can you send the wording as well, as some times the words cannot be read correctly from photos and can only be read in good light with a jeweller’s loupe.
Do you know the history of the cricket buckle? Do you have a reference? Can you please send that as well?
In his introduction to the book, Brian writes:
A Cricket buckle is an item that would be on most detectorist’s wish list. What amazes me is the variety of patterns and shapes that have been found. Some are pure works of art. I’ve been fortunate to walk across a few, and that has spurred my interest in them.
Here are a couple more illustrations from the book …
SHOWN ABOVE ‘After the Match’. Cricket buckle c1860s. Unusual circular brass coloured metal buckle depicting a cricketer seated on the ground with a bottle and glass to his side. Title embossed to the border. Two inches in diameter.
Over at the Relic Hunters Forum Brian Ridley punned that I had him stumped because he’d never found any buckles. However, Mick Hopton posted a cricket themed item found by his son – and one that Brian may use.
Examples are coming thick and fast now. This next one is an example of what my friend Jerry Morris found a few years ago. He especially likes the Victorian sense of humour …
Matt Bullimore has always wondered about the bits and pieces he found and thinks he may now have a solution. What do you think?
Paul Mower has sent me a cricket themed buckle plate found on a farmer’s field which used to be to be used for village cricket matches near Horsehay, Shropshire. The inscription at the bottom reads “May it ever flourish.” I understand that Brian can use this one also …
Stephen Grey says that there are ‘some cool buckles out there, buried in the mud of forgotten fields’, and he proudly shows one of his cricket buckle finds, which he ‘loves dearly’. It’s a cracker!
Mick Hopton found the headless batsman shown below. He reckons it may be of something other than a buckle because of the size and thickness. What do you think?
Jerry Fargher says that the bronze alloy badge below came from his garden and he believes it dates back to 1858 when a Hovingham team of 22 players took on an All England team. Sadly, the professionals proved too much for the villagers.
And still they arrive. Diggerdale of the BMD detecting forum has kindly given me permission to use the one he found a few years ago.
Liz, an administrator on the BMD, says that she found the example below in Rutland, England’s smallest county. The village still has a cricket team, but she’s not sure that her example is from a buckle. What can be said is that the partefact has a cricketing connection.
From the BMD forum comes another buckle, this time from member called ironage. What a super effort the people on this site have made! I’m not sure if Brian can use these examples, but I welcome them in my blog. Unfortunately there are few details with many of them.
My friend Jim Crombie wrote:
Below is a cricket associated buckle fragment I found down on Lord Elgin’s estate several years ago which I commented on in your blog post a few months back. From memory an Australian had recorded then published an article or book with photographs about them. I can’t recall if this example was a known example. However, just in case it is a new unknown example I’ve attached a photograph.