1913 Leather Match Ball - All Blacks vs 'California All Stars'; Unknown; Unknown...


1913 Leather Match Ball - All Blacks vs 'California All Stars'

About this object

Dating from 1913, one of the country's oldest rugby balls is a signed souvenir of the first clash between New Zealand and America. Touring California as part of a push to promote rugby union as an alternative to American Football, its leather surface is tattooed with the spidery ink signatures of the 1913 All Blacks team that thrashed the All-America (California 'All Stars') crew 51-3 in San Francisco. Some have blamed the hammering the top All Blacks team gave the fledgling Yankee teams on this tour for stunting the growth of the game in the States, but the USA bounced back to win rugby at the Olympics in 1920 and 1924.



Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made


Medium and Materials


Inscription and Marks

Inscribed and signed by all members of the NZ touring side


30cm (Length) x 60cm (circum) & 37cm (from tip to tip across curve)

Credit Line

On Loan from Mitchinson family, of 1913 All Black Frank Mitchinson

Object Type

Leather Rugby Ball

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from

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