This club is stamped "H. Philp" and "T. Morris" on the crown, and is the only such club known to the auctioneer. It was not made by Hugh Philp, as it clearly dates to the 1890s complete with the original shaft stamped "T. Morris, St. Andrews, N.B." The club was made by Tom Morris, but he used his old, small "T.Morris" ball stamp. This is a club of great intrigue!
The way this putter is marked, with the large Philp and small Morris stamp, is how clubs made decades earlier were sometimes marked when the owner was a ballmaker. Only a very small group of such clubs remain, including a Philp club stamped with a small "Allan," a Morris clubs stamped with a small "Gourlay," another Morris club stamped with a small "Kirk," and a Wilson club stamped with a small "Allan."
The club unquestionably celebrates Morris's relationship to Philp, as one who knew Philp well and literally established his own shop in the same small St. Andrews shop where Philp worked. The question of why Old Tom made this club when he did is unknown. It should be noted that Robert Forgan, who worked with Philp and took over Philp's business after Philp's death, also made an extremely rare putter (also likely in the 1890s) that was stamped with both the names of Philp and Forgan. It's not known which man—Morris or Forgan—made the first such "commemorative" putter, but they both obviously valued their relationship with Philp.
The Philp Morris putter offered here is in excellent original condition. The head measures 5" in length, 15/16" in face depth, and 1 15/16" in width. The 34 1/2" shaft, neck whipping, sheepskin grip, and even the whipping on the grip, are original. This is a fabulous club!
This club is the first club on the left in the group image that accompanies this lot.