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Lot 322: A McEWAN PRESENTATION/PRIZE PUTTER WITH CARVED DECORATION, CIRCA 1800

Sotheby's

September 27, 2007
New York, NY, US

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Description

Bruntsfield & Musselburgh, Scotland, 18th/19th century Long-nosed putter with crown of head intricately carved Decoration incorporates long-nose clubs, feather golf balls, and the McEwan's famous Scottish "thistle" mark Engraved "McEWAN," and additionally with the word "FAR," as in "Far and Sure" Overall very good condition with professional repair work executed on the head as it was once broken.

Literature

TGC p. 29; TCA p. 47; TCA 2 Vol. 1 p. 45

Notes

During the 19th century a new club was often the prize for winning a competition. The winning golfer could often order a club made to his specifications, and sometimes entire sets of clubs were offered as the winner's spoils. Additionally, presentation clubs were produced as perpetual awards for annual competitions. These were usually crafted in sterling silver and can often be found displayed in the clubhouses of old English and Scottish golf clubs. Only four prize/presnetation clubs with a carved decoration on the head are known to exist. This McEwan prize club is carved with four featherballs, two crossed clubs, and a thistle, the national flower and as symbol of Scotland. The thistle was also used by the McEwan's as their trademark in their advertising, but only four thistle-stamped and one thistle-carved McEwan clubs are known. The thistle stampled clubs made by James McEwan (1747-1800). Only one other McEwan prize club is known to exist. That club does not have the thistle carving and appears to be a little younger.
This McEwan was pictured and described in the March 1916 issue of The American Golfer (p. 356). The article informs us that the putter was collected by the Rev. Robert Forgan of St. Andrews, author of The Golfer's Handbook and son of the celebrated St. Andrews clubmaker Robert Forgan. This putter together with ten other antique golf clubs were sold by Forgan to The Burke Golf Company of Newark, Ohio, to add to their own collection that was to be exhibited in San Francisco and for which they won a blue ribbon. For reasons that are not entirely clear the article also describes this club as the "Engraved Swan Putter, 1800."

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