Offered here is what appears to be a
circa 1830s-1840s long nose feather ball club made of either apple or
pear wood. The club is marked R.A.D., which are the initials of Sir
Robert Anstruther Dalyell. Sir Robert was Captain of the R&A in
1899. The shaft is marked J Thomson, who was also Captain of the
R&A, in 1858.
The club is
stamped "T Dunn" on the crown. If Tom Dunn was the one who produced this
club (and not someone who just repaired the club), he did so many years
after the feather ball era. Golf club historian Jeff Ellis, in his book
The Clubmaker's Art, has an interesting take on this: "Tom
Dunn also made a few woods that looked like feather ball clubs, complete
with shallow faces and slender heads. Dunn either liked pre-1850
clubheads, and therefor make sure of his clubs in this style, or he
received customer requests to produce copies of 'old favorites'"
Two other R.A.D. clubs sold at at 1987 Sotheby's auction - an 1840 High Philp club, and another T. Dunn club. The
clubhead has a crack which runs across the crown to the face and
expands to the soul of the club but remains very solid and is more along
the grain of the burl wood as opposed to a crack in solid wood. 44.5".