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PBA Galleries adding vintage golf gear to its game Nov. 12

Francis Powell Hopkins, ’17th Green at Hoylake,’ oil on canvas, 1881.  Estimate: $200,000-$300,000. PBA Galleries image

SAN FRANCISCO – On Sunday, Nov. 12, PBA will go on the road and hold their fall golf sale, Fine Golf Books, Hickory Clubs, & Golf Memorabilia, including the Golf Library of Ron Muszalski, Part I, in the cradle of American Golf, Southern Pines, North Carolina. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Held in conjunction with the Golf Collectors’ Society’s Annual meeting and trade show, PBA will offer 40 lots of golfing history including many cornerstone works in the literature of the game, numerous rare and desirable titles that have not crossed the auction block in many years, a number of rarities returning to auction from the library of Joseph Murdoch, first sold by PBA in 1998, championship programs, hickory clubs, early golf balls, prints, paintings, rare pamphlets and other memorabilia and ephemera.

Headlining the sale is an 1881 original oil painting of the 17th Green at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, by F.P. “Shortspoon” Hopkins (above). A superb golfing scene, this is a rare opportunity to acquire a key work of golfing art by one of the earliest artists of the game. Hopkins’ works are in great demand as they document the people, events, manner of play and even the golf courses before the advent of photography (estimate: $200,000 – $300,000).

Among the clubs and golf balls offered in the sale is a rare unused 1840s feather ball made by the famed St. Andrews caddie, Sandy Pirie (estimate: $10,000 – $15,000). The feather ball, or featherie, was used during the 16th through the 19th centuries and was handmade of goose feather tightly packed into a horsehide or cowhide sphere. Featheries were a livelier and longer lasting ball that either the wooden or hair balls that were used previously.

Unused feather ball made by St. Andrews caddie Sandy Pirie, 1840s. Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000. PBA Galleries image

A 19th-century longnose putter will also be on the block. The putter was made by Hugh Philip, one of the most celebrated club makers of his day. The putter has a pearwood head, sheepskin grip and 36-inch shaft (estimate: $6,000 – $9,000).

Nineteenth-century longnose putter made by Hugh Philip. PBG Galleries image

Featured books in the sale include Gymnastics, Golf, Curling from 1866 by Robert Chambers, and contains the second, enlarged appearance of his A Few Rambling Remarks on Golf and is the second golf instructional to be published. This copy of from the collection of Joseph Murdoch and is only copy PBA has seen in the original wrappers (estimate: $3,000 – $5,000).

The copy of ‘Gymnastics, Golf, Curling’ by Robert Chambers is the only one that PBA Galleries has encountered that retains its original wrappers. PBA Galleries image

Also from the collection of Joseph Murdoch is a fine copy in the original dust jacket of George Thomas’s seminal work on Golf Architecture in America, 1927 (estimate: $2,500 – $3,500). Other books of interest are a rare original program for the 1930 USGA National Open Golf Championship at Interlachen Golf Club, which was won by Bobby Jones in his grand slam year (estimate: $5,000 – $8,000) and a rare flipbook of actual photographic prints of John Henry Taylor making a full swing, circa 1910 (estimate: $1,000 – $1,500).

Rounding out the highlights of the sale is C.B. Clapcott’s rare paper on The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers on Leith Links (1764 to 1796), which is one of only a few copies prepared by the author for private distribution (estimate: $5,000 – $8,000) and the Golfweek 1996 National Amateur Championship ring made especially for Tiger Woods but never claimed by him (estimate: $700 – $1,000).

Tiger Woods’ unclaimed 1996 National Amateur Championship ring. Estimate: $700 – $1,000. PBG Galleries image

The sale and preview will be held at the Pine Needles & Mid-Pines Resort (1005 & 1010 Midland Road) in Southern Pines, North Carolina. The sale will begin at 5 p.m. Eastern time / p.m. Pacific time.

For more information, please contact the galleries at PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or

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