British Open winners' clubs to be auctioned


July 14, 1991|By Ruth Sadler

This is British Open week, and a bit of the tournament's history will be auctioned tomorrow at Sotheby's in Chester, England.

A collection of 23 golf clubs, each having belonged to a British Open winner between 1860 and 1930, is expected to be sold for more than $1 million at Sotheby's annual sale of golf and sporting memorabilia.

This collection was assembled by Willie and Laurie Auchterlonie, golf professionals and club makers at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland. The father and son were also collectors of historic golf memorabilia and equipment.

Their position gave them an advantage in collecting: They simply asked the Open winners for one of their clubs. Before his death in 1965, the younger Auchterlonie gave the collection to the seller, who wishes to remain anonymous. There is a letter from Auchterlonie's wife accompanying the collection which confirms its provenance.

The oldest club in the collection is believed to be a wood once owned by Willie Park Sr., who won the Open in 1860, 1863, 1866 and 1875. There's also a club of Willie Auchterlonie, who, at 21, won the tournament in 1893. American winners Jock Hutchinson (1921) and Bobby Jones (1926, 1927, 1930) are represented by a mashie and a putter, respectively. Six-time winner Harry Vardon contributed a wood.

Also in the auction are a bound manuscript of a history of the

Royal and Ancient Golf Club, written in the early 1950s by J.A.S. Carson and illustrated with photographs, maps, plans and watercolors. The book was never published, and auction lot includes a rejection letter. Another interesting item is a golf ball made in the 1840s by Allan Robertson of St. Andrews, which is

expected to sell for up to $18,000.


Baltimore Colts fans have an opportunity to purchase a unique collectible -- a 1958-model NFL football autographed by Raymond Berry, Art Donovan, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker and John Unitas. It is the first time these Hall of Famers who starred in the 1958 championship game have ever been brought together to sign the same football. According to Randy Jachman of Project Strategies Network Inc., each football will be hand-signed and come with a certificate of authenticity. There will be a maximum of 1,000 of these balls, and each former player has signed an agreement of exclusivity that precludes him from being involved in a similar venture for one year. Footballs cost $185 each, plus $6.95 shipping and handling. They can be ordered by credit card at (301) 879-4290 or by sending a check or money order to PSN Inc., P.O. Box 21524, Pikesville, Md. 21208.


Score has dropped Raghib "Rocket" Ismail from its 1991 NFL card roster. He was to have appeared in Series II, and he will be replaced by another player. Series II, which will be available in August, contains Score's first football Dream Team subset. Eleven of the 27 players have each autographed 500 of their Dream Team cards. These 5,500 cards have been randomly inserted in Series II packs. Twenty-two autographed cards will be available through a mail-in contest. Doing the autographing will be Warren Moon, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Andre Rison, Keith Jackson, Bruce Armstrong, Jim Lachey, Bruce Matthews, Mike Munchak, Don Mosebar and Barry Sanders.



Upcoming events:

Today, baseball card show, Glen Burnie Elks Hall, Severn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

Today, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, baseball card show, Harford Mall, Bel Air, 10 a.m., 638-9388.

July 27, baseball card show, Cromwell Bridge Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 893-0013.

Aug. 3, baseball card show, Days Hotel, Timonium, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 866-3366.

Aug. 4, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.