Lot 65 of 213:
First prose work on golf, 1857  

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Lot closed - unsold
$6,000 - $9,000

The Golfer's Manual; Being an Historical and Descriptive Account of the National Game of Scotland; with an Appendix. By A Keen Hand

[Farnie, Henry Brougham] A Keen Hand

Cupar, Scotland

Whitehead and Orr



xii, [2], 96 pp. Illustrated with a lithographed frontispiece portrait of Allan Robertson, with tissue-guard. 16.1x10.2 cm. (6¼x4"), rebound in modern red cloth with original blindstamped and gilt-lettered front cover cloth laid down, ruled and lettered in gilt on spine, all edges gilt, fresh endpapers. First Edition.

The first edition of the first book of prose devoted entirely to the game of golf, and the first book of golf instruction, quite rare. Donovan & Jerris note that "H.B. Farnie, a native of Burntisland who studied at the University of St. Andrews, was the author of several guide books, the editor of a Fifeshire newspaper, and later a journalist in London; he died in Paris in 1889. In 1857 he authored the first book of golf instruction, published under the pseudonym 'A Keen Hand.' The subjects treated in this seminal treatise also include history, equipment, golfing terms, rules, and a list of Scottish courses. Of additional note is the portrait of Allan Robertson that appears opposite the title-page..." Donovan & Murdoch 1140; Murdoch 415; Donovan & Jerris F2500.

Lot Amendments

Light toning with one or two minuscule spots; else fine.

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