Lot # 51: c. 1875 Machine Cut Red Gutty

Category: Golf Balls

Starting Bid: $250.00

Bids: 5 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall 2020",
which ran from 11/4/2020 12:00 PM to
11/21/2020 8:00 PM

This mesh-pattern solid gutty ball is not your normal mesh pattern ball. It is actually a far more rare line-cut ball!  Such balls were a major step in the evolution of the golf ball, replacing the hand-hammered ball.  

A line-cut ball was originally molded in a smooth gutty mold and then removed and placed into a small cutting lathe designed to score the surface of gutta percha golf balls.  The ballmaker would turn the lathe's handle and that caused the machine to rotate the ball, cutting lines into its surface.  After rotating the ball 90 degrees, the maker would cut in a second set of lines at a right angle to the first set.  Finally, the ballmaker would reposition the ball and cut a third set of lines around the circumference.  Typically, the resulting mesh pattern would be reasonably symmetrical, often times making it hard to distinguish a line cut ball from a molded mesh ball.

On this ball, the lines are well cut, but the spacing in a small area between the horizontal line set and the vertical line set is different on the opposite sides of the ball, as shown in the images. when comparing the last two—5th and 6th—images to each other, the 5th image has large rectangular squares in the center of the image, and the 6th image has much smaller rectangular images in that corresponding location on the other side of the ball. Also, in the last image you can clearly see that the horizontal lines are not cut at a 90 degree angle to the vertical lines.

These differences demonstrate that this ball is a genuine line-cut ball, made after ballmakers moved away from hand-hammering balls but before they used molds engraved with the mesh pattern found on line-cut balls.  This would have occurred roughly between the 1870s and 1890. On molded mesh-pattern gutty balls, the pattern is perfect every time

And there is more—this ball has original red paint. During the 19th century, a few die-hard's would use a red ball when golfing in light snow or with frost on the ground, or when the rough on some holes was blooming with daisies.  This is one of those balls.   

Whlle this ball has a few light strike marks, overall it is in excellent condition and would stand out in any ball collection.  That, and it is a true rarity.

TCA2 V2 p 763-764

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