Golf balls are perhaps the
hottest golf memorabilia in the world right now. To longtime collectors,
this will not be a surprise, as golf balls were once the crème de la
crème of the golf world. Finally, after years of being overlooked, golf
balls seem poised for their rightful return to prominence. And rightful
it is. Most historians agree – it was the ball, not the club, that most
influenced the game of golf. Our last auction saw 2 individual balls
sell for over $30,000 each, as well as other golf balls sell for $14,000
and $8,000, respectively. And there are reports that a scarce
“Paterson’s Composite” golf ball recently traded hands privately for a
whopping $200,000 – the highest price ever paid for a golf ball.
Offered in this auction is one
of the finest groupings of rare golf balls ever assembled for a single
sale. Many of these balls were the centerpieces of the most important
golf ball book ever written, The Story of the Golf Ball (2003) by Kevin McGimpsey. McGimpsey’s book is the Bible for golf ball collectors, and rightfully so.
P. Keddie 28 (of Leven) Hand Hammered Gutta Golf Ball Circa 1865
This is an extraordinary hand hammered gutta percha golf ball stamped "P. KEDDIE" and the size "28." After golfers learned that smooth gutties flew better after being "knicked," they began requesting that ball makers knick their balls before accepting delivery. These so-called Hand Hammered gutties are exceedingly rare, as simple tools/presses were soon produced to do the labor intensive work for the ball maker. Hand hammered golf balls were only produced for a very short period of time in the mid 1860s. Offered here is one of the finest hand-hammered balls that you will ever encounter, as this ball still retains a strikingly bold maker's mark of P. KEDDIE. The weight, 28, is also easily visible on the ball.
This exact ball is pictured on Plate XI of The Story of the Golf Ball (2003) by Kevin McGimpsey. Few examples known.