Jackson long nose clubs are described in The Clubmakers Art
as follows: "John Jackson's clubs possess all the traits of a master at
his craft: style, grace, and quality workmanship. Although Jackson was
making clubs during the same period as Hugh Philp and Douglas McEwan,
very few of his clubs remain compared to the number of known McEwan and
Philp clubs." This particular Jackson middle spoon proves the point that Jackson made some drop dead gorgeous clubs.
Everything on this circa 1830s Jackson middle spoon is entirely original and in unused condition. The 42" shaft has its original sheepskin grip and the original counter-wound whipping on the grip is all there as is the whipping at the top and bottom of the grip. The face is immaculate and clean as can be. The original stain lines as applied
by Jackson remain clear and defined around the toe, topline, and
heel of the face just like they were the day the club was finished. A minor amount of varnish has flaked off the top of the head at the toe but is of no real consequence. Simply put, the chances of finding a nicer Jackson are small to the extreme.
The head measures a full 6 1/8" in length which makes this an exceptionally long and elegant clubhead. The 1 1/16th inch face depth is even across the entire face, with the sole and top line running parallel to each other. The head is broad, measuring 2 1/8" from front to back at its widest point.
On this particular club Jackson wrote "Middle Spoon" in beautiful cursive on the sole. The writing itself is historic. Today, every clubmaker marks their
clubs with the name of the club on the head, be it a putter, driver, or
3 wood or 8 iron, etc. That has been the standard
practice for well over a century. Jackson was one of the first to ever
do this, if not the first. The auctioneer does not know of an earlier
maker who marked the name of the club on the head.
This Jackson middle spoon matches the nine Jackson clubs (two 4-club sets and one putter) that were once the property of His Grace the Duke of Athole, but this club is not from that set. The Duke's clubs famously sold at a Christie's auction in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 15, 1987. While unused, many of those clubs had significant damage to the top lines of the face or had lost an unsightly amount of their varnish, or both. Only 2 or 3 of the Duke's clubs were clean, comparable to how clean this club is.
In addition to the nine clubs, the Duke sold two heavy irons, one
of which was inscribed on the grip with the name of the club, and four
W&J Gourlay feather balls. William (b.1813) and John Gourlay
(b.1815) worked together from the mid-1830s until 1844, when John died.
It seems clear that this trove of clubs and balls were likely made for
the Duke at the same time. Because this club is pretty much identical in its construction and finish to those in the Duke's set, this club is easy to date to that same period.
This Jackson middle spoon first appeared on the auctioneer's radar almost 10 years ago,
when it was acquired and then sold by an antique dealer on the west coast of Canada. A few years later the club was resold. Now, a few
years after that, the club is available for a new home. If you like to collect the best of the best, this club qualifies.
For more on John Jackson, see TCA2 V1 p. 52-53
A circa 1825 driving iron shown in one of the images for perspective and is not part of this lot. It is available as lot 3 in this auction.