The McEwan family of Musselburgh is the widely regarded as the foremost clubmaking family in golf history. Though hundreds of McEwan long nose golf clubs exist, only a scant few feather golf balls from golf's 1st family are known. Offered here is one of those balls - a circa 1830s McEwan feather golf ball.
We reached out to Origins of Golf expert Bob Hansen, and he believes that this ball was produced by James McEwan and pre-dates his untimely death in 1836 at age 31. While James' father Peter and his brother Douglas were clubmakers, James apprenticed with the Gourlays and became the ballmaker in the McEwan family. But since he died at age 31, few McEwan balls remain. The 1830s was also before the McEwan family started using their now-famous stamp.
The offered feathery is exceptional. It has a thick coat of paint over it, and was probably never struck by a golf club. On that ball is handwritten "Made by McE___."
This is the first time this circa 1830s McEwan feather golf ball has been offered publicly in 34 years - since it sold at the July 1985 Christie's Glasgow auction.