On Thursday, April 13th, PBA Galleries will offer more than 500 lots of fine golf books and memorabilia, including many cornerstone works in the literature of golf. Of special interest are four of C.B. Clapcott’s important historical papers, rarely seen at auction. Also included are a complete copy of John Smart’s collection of 20 etchings of Scottish golf courses, an 1868 edition of the Royal Blackheath Rules, several important early USGA Open programs, and many other rarely seen works. Works by Bernard Darwin, Bobby Jones, A.W. Tillinghast, Harold Hilton, John Behrend and other mainstays of any golf library appear in profusion, a number of the fine limited edition publications of Grant Books, in the special limitations, are also well represented. Following the cataloged lots will be nearly 100 lots offered without reserve.
Four lots of exceedingly rare C. B. Clapcott’s writings are up for auction. All are the self-produced typescript editions in the original stiff paper wrappers. The titles in the sale are: The Match Dinners of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, 1744 to 1932 (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000); The Early Days of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (1744 to 1764). Some Facts and Conclusions Relative Thereto (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); The Oldest Golf Club. ? (Estimate: $4,00-$6,000); and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Its Titles in the Past (1744-1948) (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000).
Another highlight of the sale is A Round of the Links, twenty finely etched plates of Scottish Golf Greens by John Smart. One of approximately 100 copies, rarely found complete with many copies having been broken up for framing of the individual etchings (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000). A rare volume by a committee that included the great Bobby Jones advocating the use of golf clubs as bird sanctuaries on behalf of the Audubon Societies (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000).
The first mention of the game of golf in a printed book is in the Scottish Acts of 1566, banning play on Sunday. It was felt that that free time on a Sunday should be spent on shooting or archery because it fulfilled a military need (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). Signed by more than 40 professional golfers, From Tee to Cup by the Four Masters is illustrated with photographs and has signatures of Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Gary Palmer, Arnold Palmer and many others (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500).
Also featured are two lots related to Walter Hagen. An experimental one-of-a- kind putter designed by and made for Hagen. The club is a brown sheath steel shafted putter with a special carved wooden head and a rounded face and is stamped ‘Walter Hagen’ on top of the head (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000). A photograph of Hagen taken and signed by George S. Pietzcker, the photographer responsible for many of the iconic images of the golfing greats of the early 20th century (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).
The sale will begin at 11:00am Pacific Time. The public may preview the auction Monday, April 10th, 1 – 5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 11th and 12th, 9am – 5pm; and Thursday, April 13th, 9-11am or by appointment at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. PBA accepts absentee bids by phone, fax or email or bids may be placed during the sale in person or online. The entire catalog may be viewed at www.pbagalleries.com. For more information, please contact PBA at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]
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