The second group of golfing memorabilia that formed part of the Pierre Horwitz Collection went under the hammer at Bonhams in Edinburgh on May 1, with many of the top lots going for prices way above their list estimates.
One of the most sought-after lots was an 18th century long-nosed spoon, which bore the inscription ‘R.Ferguson’ on the crown. Club historians discovered that the club did not belong to three-time Open champion Bob Ferguson, but rather a Scottish poet by the same name, circa 1750-74, who, according to Archerfield Estate literature, had an affair with Lady Mary of Archerfield. The club had a pre-sale estimate of £1,500-£2,000, having been sold for similar sums when it came up for sale at two previous auctions, but this time it sold for £6,300 after some keen bidding from rival collectors.
Also gaining a good deal in interest from buyers was the Leith Thistle Scorecard by W.Cundell, the oldest known scorecard in existence, which sold for £4,800.
The Golfing Heritage section that followed was led by the Royal and Ancient Queen Adelaide medal for 1912, won by Walter Fairlie, which was accompanied in its box with the silver banded Martin’s ball, that was used in the Captain’s Drive Into Office ceremony in the same year. Once the bidders in the room had tried their best to secure it, a fierce and bidding war ensued between an internet and a telephone bidder. The successful bidder, coming from the United States, had to pay £10,000.
The total amount raised from the Horwitz Colldection Part II was £102,000. Hamish Wilson, Bonhams’ Senior Valuer, said: “Despite the doom mongers talking the market down, there is still a place for exceptional prices to be achieved – it just has to be ‘a rare thing.”