A January 19, 1902 Forgan & Son Golf illustrated ad in the auctioneers possession offers many different clubs including "Solid Ebony Headed Putters." Ebony putter heads were made from the wood of a tropical tree such as are grown in Africa. Today, these putters are hardly ever seen, but when they are, they are easily recognized by two traits. First the entire head is jet-black. Because the wood itself is natually black, even the scoring lines are black. Second, the sole does not have the traditional horn slip along the leading edge.
Forgan did not mark this ebony head with either the Prince of Wales plume or the King's crown because this club was made after Prince Edward became King Edward VII in January of 1901 and before Forgan & Son began marking their clubs wth the King's crown in early 1902, following their appointment as Golf Club Makers to His Majesty King Edward VII. Instead, the crown is stamped simply R. Forgan.
The 35" shaft, which bears the initials GHP, and white kid leather grip are original. The club shows little to no use. The auctioneer has seen just five ebony putters during his career, and the example offered here is one them.For more info on Forgan ebony head putters, see The Clubmakers Art 2nd edition volume 1 page 382.