This silver-mounted c. 1875 Jamie Anderson putter has what appears to be a sterling silver shield on the shaft, just below the grip, that is marked with the script initials "MR".
This club is in beautiful original condition, top to bottom. Its head measures 1 1/16" in face depth, 5 1/2" in head length, and 1 7/8" in width. The original greenheart? shaft with sheepskin grip measures 37 3/8" long.
Silver-mounted clubs were typically given as gifts or as competition prizes. This club was obviously treasured as it has been used very little. For more on silver-mounted prize clubs, Click Here.
Born in 1842, James Anderson was once the best golfer in the world, winning the British Open three years in succession—1877, '78, '79. To win the 1878 Open by two shots, Anderson scored four under par across the last four holes at Prestwick. He holed out his approach shot on the 15th hole for an eagle three and then on the 17th hole, a par 3, he holed his tee shot! Talk about an unbelievable finish!!
In addition to being an outstanding golfer, Anderson was a skilled club and ball maker. He was the first apprentice/assistant Robert Forgan employed after taking over Hugh Philp's business in 1856. When Tom Morris moved from Prestwick to St. Andrews in 1864, Anderson had also learned to make golf balls working with his father, Old Daw.
Anderson was working for Tom Morris when the Royal Perth Golfing Society offered him the professional job in 1865. Royal Perth, however, did not hire him at that time because Anderson's price was too high. Nevertheless, Anderson struck out on his own and established a clubmaking business in St. Andrews. Two-time Open champ Bob Martin went to work for Anderson at some point in the late 1860s/early 1870s. Martin, born in 1852, served his full clubmaking apprenticeship under Anderson.
Leaving St. Andrews for a brief period, Jamie took a job working for Ardeer Golf Club in Ayrshire in 1882 before he wound up working briefly at Royal Perth in 1883. By 1890, Anderson was back working for Robert Forgan. By 1898, he was working for R.B. Wilson. Towards the end of his life, Anderson's health became an issue and he died in a poor house in 1905.
For more on Anderson, see TCA2 V1 p82-83.