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The 1924 Invincibles performed a haka at Twickenham Stadium in London. Photo / Webbs (with permission) / RNZ

By RNZ

A online auction is selling a rare New Zealand rugby image that was once thought lost forever.

Two hundred pictures from New Zealand’s Fairfax newspaper archives are being sold by the owners of the American collection.

In 2013, an American company that digitized the collection went to the recipient and the photos were eventually sold to the California art dealer, Daniel Miller.

Miller bought a whole collection of vintage photos with the intention of returning them to New Zealand.

The head of art at Webbs Auction House, Charles Ninow, said the collection could sell for more than $ 100,000.

“It’s everyone’s guessing but I anticipate this collection will sell for over $ 100,000. ”

He said the photos included one of the 1924 Invincibles doing a haka while touring in England.

The team is unbeaten during their 32 match overseas tour and their image of performing haka is fantastic.

There is also a fantastic photo of the team called the Kiwis, consisting of New Zealand soldiers who served overseas at the end of World War Two, and before returning home they played matches in Europe. ”

The collection also includes one taken during the first Test match between New Zealand and South Africa at Athletic Park in Wellington in 1937.

The images document the formative years of the national game and cover 30 years.

Ninow said that even if the photos were sold individually, it was possible that someone took the entire collection and they could end up overseas again.

He wants to see the photos remain in New Zealand.

“That’s what we are doing the auction here for.

“ It took some time to secure these photos and my wish, and we would like to see these photos remain in New Zealand in New Zealand hands. ”

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