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Bonhams to auction world’s oldest scorecard

2.23pm 11th April 2019 - Salesroom & Memorabilia - This story was updated on Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Bonhams next Sporting Sale in Edinburgh on May 1 presents Part II of The Pierre Horwitz Collection of golfing memorabilia featuring the oldest scorecard in the world.

Estimated at £2,500-3,500, the card, which has been framed and mounted, dates from December 2, 1820. It shows that a Mr Cundell played the five holes within the Musselburgh Race Track twice, a total of ten holes in 84 strokes.

Charmingly, the golfer provided his own commentary in a handwritten note at the bottom of the card, ‘Dreadful storm of wind and rain – atmosphere quite yellow – just like the lurid regions of Pandemonium.’

Mr Cundell is almost certainly James Cundell, who was closely involved with the Thistle Golf Club since its founding in 1815, and who published one of the first ever rule books of golf in 1824.

Bonhams golfing memorabilia consultant Kevin McGimpsey said: “This original scorecard is in remarkable condition considering its age and the atrocious weather conditions at the time Mr Cundell played his round. It has an excellent provenance, having once belonged to the well-known golfer Sir Henry Cotton, who kept it in his renowned Black Tin Box with other rare examples of historical golfing memorabilia. The scorecard predates the oldest cards owned by the international golf museums.”

The Pierre Horwitz collection covers the period from the early part of the 19th century to the 1920s, and concentrates especially on the manufacture of clubs and balls and rare patented designs of both.  Other highlights include a white painted feather golf ball, handmade in around 1840 by Allan Robertson (1815-1859), one of most gifted of the early professional golfers, which is estimated to fetch £3,000-5,000; and a long nosed scared neck putter from around 1856-63 made by Robert Forgan. It is stamped, ‘R. Forgan’ on the crown in large letters, and bears his first known mark, a ram’s horn. It has an auction price estimate of£1,500-2,000.

The Pierre Horwitz collection Part I, made a total of £150,000 in October 2018.

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