He's a great find submitted to us by fellow rugby historian and collector Stuart Quinn in Hull. It's a lovely and colourful illustrated card (larger pic here) depicting a "North v South" game in the late 1880s or early 1890s... It shows no print on the back nor info about publisher or origin... Any input welcome!
Funnily, this nice illustration of dramatic rugby action doesn't show an actual "North v South" game... as it is copied from this other reknowned artwork by Messrs Overend and Smythe (below), i.e. England v Scotland played in Edinburgh in 1886. A mural reproduction of the original hangs in the Library of the Scottish Rugby Union at Murrayfield... (and I don't remember who I should credit for my modern repro...)
Rev.F.Marshall's reference book "Football - the Rugby Union Game" indicates that this yearly game started as early as 1874 (played in Rugby on Januay 20th - drawn, nothing scored !).
Stuart and I would be very happy to know more about these "North v South" games. History, background, anecdots... any document around to be shared here?
Quickly browsing my pictures, I can only share a few press clippings (illustrations or photos) relating the "North v South" game in 1900, 1903 or 1893 below (larger pic here), i.e. a fine engraving by S.T.Dadd captioned "North v South at Manchester" and published in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Dec.23,1893. For the records, North won by 2 goals 2 tries (16 points) to 3 tries (9 points) that day...
Incidentally, one of the etchings shows England and North player Dickie - The World's Wonders - Lockwood (full bio)... another opportunity to enjoy these fine Victorian rugby cards!
PS: New Zealand has been also playing "North v South" games since 1897, but that's another story !