Published: July 25, 2000
LONDON, ENGLAND – A July 10 Golfing Memorabilia auction at Christie’s totaled $717,794. One hundred sixty-six of 239 offered lots found buyers – or 69 percent. Ninety-one percent of lots were sold by pounds sterling.
“[The] sale, which was one of the most successful golfing auctions ever held by [our firm] achieved a record price for a feather filled golf ball by W. Robinson,” said David Convey, the firm’s golfing memorabilia specialist. An inscription in ink, “St. Andrews, 30, Made by Lang Willie,” could be read on the ball; Willie was an assistant to the well-known maker Allan Robinson.
The leather cased “feathery” balls, reports the Associated Press, were used between the 1600s and early 1850s. They were fabricated from thick bull or horse hide leather and stuffed with chicken or goose feathers to produce a lively, long lasting golf ball.
The ball was purchased by the Valderama Golf Club in Spain for $42,779. Another auction record was broken in the paintings section of the sale for the work of artist Charles Edmund Brock. “The Drive” realized $62,386, following competitive international bidding both in the salesroom and on the telephone. The 1894 oil on panel sold to a member of the London trade.
A gold US Open Winner’s medal, 1897, inscribed “Champion 1897, won by Joseph Lloyd,” sold for $60,604 to a US collector.
“The Putt,” again by Charles Edmund Brock, 1894, an oil on panel, reached $57, 039, going to a British collector.
“The Bunker,” also by Brock, 1894, oil on panel, also sold for $57,039 to an anonymous collector.
A Scottish collector won “Bruntsfield Links Golf Club,” by Sam Bough, 1871, watercolor, for $46,344, while a US collector purchased Bough’s “A Golf March at St Andrews,” 1868, oil on canvas, for $42,779. In addition to the record Robinson ball, the Valderama Golf Club purchased a William Gourlay feather-filled golf ball for $17,824.
The early Blacksmith made iron went to the US trade for $13,367, as did a scared-head long-nosed mid-spoon by Hugh Philp at $15,150.
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