Australian businessman Peter Freedman has purchased Sir Donald Bradman’s first baggy green cap for $450,000 after it failed to sell at auction last week.
While the second-highest price ever paid for a piece of cricket memorabilia, behind only the $1,007,500 paid at auction for Shane Warne’s Test cap earlier this year, it is not the seven-figure sum auctioneers predicted.
Freedman, the founder of Rode Microphones who earlier this year paid $9m to win an auction for a guitar used by Kurt Cobain, plans to tour Bradman’s Test debut cap around Australia.
The 1928 Bradman cap price eclipses the $425,000 paid for the Australia’s great’s 1948 baggy green at a 2003 auction.
“Sir Don Bradman is an Aussie legend,” Freedman said on Tuesday. “Not only as one of our greatest talents on the sporting field and one of the most revered athletes of all time, but as an icon of Australian fortitude and resilience.
“All too often, memorabilia such as this ends up spending its life on the wall of some boardroom or in some basement bar of a well-heeled sports fanatic. I want as many people to enjoy it as possible.
“I have some exciting plans for the baggy green that will see it travel the country and shared with sports fans and cricketing communities.”
The cap was presented to Bradman before his Test debut against England in November 1928 in Brisbane.
Bradman gifted the cap to a family friend, Peter Dunham, in 1959. Dunham, who was a neighbour of Bradman in Kensington Gardens in Adelaide’s inner east, was earlier this year jailed for fraud.
Dunham in May was jailed for more than eight years for scamming $1.3m from investors. Some of Dunham’s victims sought access to Bradman’s cap to help pay off the accountant’s debts.
Dunham’s estate was bankrupted with Bradman’s cap auctioned under instructions from the trustee, Oracle Insolvency Services.
Freedman, in June this year, won an auction for the acoustic guitar used by Cobain in Nirvana’s famous unplugged performance in 1993.
Freedman’s winning $9m bid for the 1959 Martin D18E acoustic guitar is the highest price ever paid at auction for a guitar.