This Tom Morris play club is an interesting study. First, the not so good news: The head has been reshafted with an old period shaft that still retains its original sheepskin grip. There is a number of grain separations/cracks in the top of the head. They are visible on close inspection. There also appears to be evidence of a thin, repaired crack that runs down the back of the neck onto the sole. The evidence of the crack takes exceptionally close inspection to find. Additional varnish was used to coat the head and fill in and cover the distressed wood. The varnish was also added to the face which had a few light horizontal scoring lines added in years past. The lead in the back of the head is not original, but it is old—just another step in all of the efforts undertaken to maintain this club in days past. The lead is unique in that a lead plug was added to the center of the lead. The auctioneer has not seen that before! It's actually quite interesting.
Now the good news: A replica club made with all new materials can cost more the opening bid for this club, and this clubhead was made by the Grand Old Man of Golf and still presents quite well. All of the materials used to construct this club are old, and showing age via grain separations and repairs is part of life on many an antique club. In this instance, the restoration/maintenance work preserved an attractive clubhead. And that is a good thing. Not every club is going to be perfect, but clubs such as this one can be far more friendly to one's pocketbook and still strike a wonderful pose.