Best Things First: Wicket Good

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The company reputed to have made the first croquet set continues to make the best sets. Jacques of London (877.374.8881, www.kensingtontrading.com) claims credit for introducing Victorian England to the game of croquet at The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851, when the company’s ancestral founders were among the estimated 13,000 exhibitors at the fair. The deceptively genteel lawn sport took off soon after, winning converts such as Lewis Carroll, who later wrote about befuddled Alice trying to smack a hedgehog ball with a live ostrich mallet during a game in Wonderland.

More than 150 years after The Great Exhibition, Jacques of London remains a leading supplier of croquet equipment, and its Sandringham set ($3,675) is perhaps its finest. The handsome mahogany box with brass fittings contains enough professional-quality gear for eight players.

When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…
Photo by Michael Richter
Visitors trekked to Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the March opening day of the European Fine Art...
The 13 new portraits include images of Douglas Cramer, Judy Garland, and Ernesto Esposito…