Lot # 15: 'Alleged’ Hand Hammered Gutta Golf Ball From the Harry B. Wood Collection

Category: Golf Balls

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 14 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2016 Winter Auction",
which ran from 11/22/2016 3:00 PM to
12/10/2016 8:00 PM

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.

'Alleged’ Hand Hammered Gutta Golf Ball From the Harry B. Wood Collection

This hand hammered golf ball was part of the famous Harry B. Wood collection. This has always been one of our favorite Harry B. Wood golf balls, as Wood himself labeled the ball as "Alleged Hand Hammered". Golf ball makers were transitioned from "hand hammering" golf balls to using a mold/press to do the labor-intensive work for them. It appears that even the great collecting pioneer Harry B. Wood couldn't tell whether these knickings were done by hand! This ball bears the well-recognized small paper label bearing Wood's handwritten notation. These labels were created by Wood in order to display his grand collection of memorabilia in the late 1800s and very early 1900s. Many of Wood’s original labels have, quite reasonably, aged poorly over the past 100+ years. But not this example, which is in very good condition and still very legible. Harry B. Wood began his collection in 1868, just two years after the Royal & Ancient announced their own intentions to assemble a museum. Few golf antiques share the provenance and history of items from the Harry B. Wood Collection. 

This exact ball is pictured on plate XIV in The Story of the Golf Ball (2003) by Kevin McGimpsey. This ball is in excellent condition with 95% original paint. This finely struck hand hammered pattern was clearly the work of a highly skilled ball maker.


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