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Lot 547: THE 4TH DUKE OF ATHOLL'S HEAVY IRON, LATE 18TH CENTURY

Sotheby's

September 27, 2007
New York, NY, US

More About this Item


Description

Scotland, 18th century Extremely heavy iron with exceptionally large, concave blade stout hosel Thick hickory shaft Sheepskin grip inscribed in ink "Heavy Iron" Overall excellent condition showing little use, the shaft has two minor cracks, the longer measuring 4 inches above the nicking.

Dimensions

shaft length: 39 1/2 in (100 cm); hosel length: 5 1/2 (14 cm); hosel thickness: 7/8 in (2.25 cm); blade depth: 2 3/8 in (6 cm); weight: 24.1 oz.

Literature

TGC p. 25; TCA p. 104; TCA 2 Vol. 1 p. 118

Notes

This early iron was once the property of John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830), whose family seat was at Blair Castle in Perthshire. Per his title, the Duke commanded the only legal private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders, so it's certain he could probably also get a tee time any time he wished! The Duke collected lots of royal titles: Grandmaster of the Freemasons, Baron Stuart of Stanley and Earl Strange. In February 1793 he was made Captain General and Governor-in-Chief of the Isle of Man, and in 1794 Lord Lieutenant of County of Perth till his death in 1830. Somehow, in between all of his other duties, the Duke found time to wield this heavy iron, which would have only been used for the most treacherous lies. This club would have almost certainly been made for him on order, and is marked in script on the sheepskin grip "heavy iron". True to its name, it weighs a stout 24.5 ounces, has an imposing hosel (5 1/2" inches, 7/8" thick), a thick shaft, a large concave blade, shows a little of its hammer weld on the outside of the hosel and has large sawtooth nicking, all characteristics of the dramatically oversize nature of irons in the late 1700's.

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