# 37504


Studio portrait of New Zealand-Australian boxer Otto Cribb. Sydney, circa 1901.

$600.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, cabinet card format, 167 x 108 mm (mount); recto of mount with imprint of ‘FALK / 496 George Street, Sydney’; verso with wet stamp of Melbourne print, postcard and photograph seller W. H. Cooper, Royal Arcade; the albumen print is in good condition; the mount is chipped at two corners, but is clean and stable.

A rare studio photograph of New Zealand-born Australian boxer Otto Cribb (born Alfred Otto Simpson, 1878-1901), pictured in a fighting stance. The portrait – which appears unrecorded in Australian collections – was taken in Sydney, almost certainly within the short period between his return from the United States and his final bout against Mick Dunn in Sydney on 22 July 1901, after which he died tragically the next day from head injuries sustained in the fight, at the age of just 23.

Otto Cribb came to Australia from New Zealand. He was born at Dunedin, in the south Island, on St Valentines Day 1878. After cleaning up all the local welterweights he, like many of his countrymen, crossed the Tasman and made a mess of some of Australia’s best. Cribb was a truly great puncher and after thrashing a dozen of the Aussie lads, took the Australian welter title from Snowy Sturgeon with an eight round knockout on April 21st 1900. In October of that year he defended his title against Mick Dunn with a seventh round knockout before travelling to America where he impressed everyone with his toughness and two fisted punching. After a successful tour he returned to Sydney where on July 22nd 1901 he put his title on the line against Mick Dunn at the Gaiety Hall. It was a tough bruising affair with Cribb being counted out in the ninth round while resting on one knee. He seemed to recover quickly and after dressing, went back to his hotel, The Cliff House, at Bondi and retired for the night. In the morning his manager found him dead in his bed. He was twenty three. Upon hearing the news Mick Dunn announced his retirement from boxing. Cribb’s record is impressive. Of twenty six bouts he only lost two, winning nineteen by knockout.‘ (NLA)