In 1892 Willie Park Jr. produced and marketed what has generally been acknowledged to be the first offset blade putter. A radical idea when introduced, the offset blade quickly garnered its share of believers and eventually became one of the most popular developments in the evolution of the putter.
"Park's Patent Putting Cleek" was reviewed in the 1892 issue of Golf, but it would be two more years before Park finally applied for a patent on his club. His patent specifies constructing the neck of a cleek "with a double bend or curve" at the lower portion of the hosel.
The Park patent putting cleek offered here is stamped with his name "Wm Park" only on the 34 1/2" shaft. The oldest Park putting cleek in The Clubmakers Art is also stamped with Park's name only on the shaft. Later models were made that were stamped in various ways on the head. It's always possible that the stamp on this head has worn off, but by judging from the general lack of wear on this club, the auctioneer believes the head was never stamped.
The grip on this club is also particularly interesting and unusual. While the finish on the grip looks very much like the typical leather wrap grip of the early 1890s, the material underneath the finish is actually some type of fabric. The weave can be seen at the very top of the grip where the fabric has worn.
The blade is well lofted, as the greens in the early 1890s when this club was made were nothing like they are today.
For more on Park and his historic putter, see The Clubmakers Art 2nd edition volume 1 pages 196-197.