Just days ahead of the 2006 Open Golf Championship, to be held at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake next month, 40 out of 500 lots in Bonhams’ next Golfing Memorabilia Sale will relate to the Club and its famous players. The auction will be held on 17 July 2006 at Bonhams’ salerooms in Chester.
Star item in the sale will be the original artwork produced by Michael Brown in 1906 for the Life Association of Scotland Calendar 1907, which is expected to fetch £25,000-30,000. “Surviving Amateur Champions – Hoylake 1906” is a watercolour and pencil en grissaile composition and one of just 26 golf pictures produced by the artist for the Life Association of Scotland from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Brown’s painting technique was so detailed that when he depicted large groups of players, his paintings were often mistaken for photographs.
Another top lot in the sale will be an important Elkington & Co bronze statuette of Harry Vardon, six-times winner of the Open Championships – a record that he held from 1896 to 1914. Measuring 26 inches high, this ‘large size’ bronze was advertised by its maker with a retail price of just over £26. Few were cast and those that were, were generally bought by golf clubs. This one, by Hal Ludlow and dating from circa 1904, is now expected to fetch £15,000-20,000. Harry Vardon also won the US Open in 1900.
For collectors of golfing cigarette cards, Bonhams will sell 27 full sets and three part sets spanning 87 years of the sport from 1900 to 1987. They will be sold as one lot, estimated at £15,000-18,000.
Other properties in the sale will include medals and trophies belonging to Brian Barnes, the Ryder Cup player who beat Jack Nicklaus twice in one day in the 1975 Ryder Cup.