Rare Auction Opportunity Prior To The British Open

451-20 A rare stars and stripes ball by Willie Dunn 1897451-37 Rules of the Thistle Golf Club (1)

Images and content courtesy of Lyon & Turnbull

Thirty-seven pieces of rare golfing memorabilia, including one of the earliest drafts of formal rules of golf, will be up for auction on July 15 when Lyon & Turnbull holds an exclusive auction at The Eden Club, Scotland’s most luxurious private club at Pittormie Castle near St Andrews, prior to the 144th British Open at the Old Course. Pittormie Castle is 10 minutes from the course.

The items come from a private collection relating to the Thistle Golf Club. Established in 1815, members of the Club played on Leith Links, in Edinburgh. They later became the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield.

The Club played for gold and silver medals over three rounds of the seven-hole course at Leith. The sale includes an 1822 ‘Thistle Golf Club’ silver prize medal won by George Logan Esq. that was awarded for the tournament played over Leith Links held on the 7th December 1822. This medal will be offered with the winner’s actual scorecard as well, inscribed ‘Mr Logan, Winter Prize Medal, 7th December 1822,’ recording the scores for each of the 10 holes.

451-37 Thistle Golf Club Medal (2)451-37 Thistle Club Scorecard

Accompanying the medal and scorecard is also a rare copy of one of the earliest formal rules of golf, titled the Rules of the Thistle Golf Club by James Cundell. Cundell’s work was one of only six books of printed rules published prior to 1830.

This volume was the most important accomplishment of the Thistle Golf Club. Published in 1824, it is a rule book with an extensive introduction on golf history, termed as “Some historical notices relative to the progress of the game of golf in Scotland.” The history also documents the origins of ball games, including the related technology of the leather bound ball, known as the ‘feathery’, which was key to golf development.

Viewing will begin in Edinburgh, at Lyon & Turnbull’s main saleroom, on July 12th (Noon to 4 p.m.) & July 13th (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Viewing by appointment at Pittormie on July 15th will take place from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the auction itself beginning at 7:30 p.m. Seats for the evening auction will be limited due to the size of the venue and must be reserved in advance.


Tom Morris long-nosed club

Those who can attend can participate in the auction online or remotely, says Lyon & Turnbull Vice Chairman Paul Roberts.

“No one will miss out,” Roberts says. “This is a very exciting opportunity to take part in an exclusive auction of important golfing items.”

Those interested in receiving a catalogue or attending the sale should contact Lyon & Turnbull at 0131 557 8844.

To view the full lot of auction items, go to auctions.lyonandturnbull.com/auction-catalog/451

To learn more about online and remote bidding, go to www.lyonandturnbull.com/buying-auction