Lot # 14: Lathe Cut Gutty Ball - Mint, Late 1800's

Category: Golf Balls

Starting Bid: $250.00

Bids: 5 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer 2022",
which ran from 7/7/2022 12:00 PM to
7/23/2022 8:00 PM

This mesh-pattern solid gutty ball is not your normal mesh pattern ball. It is actually a far more rare line-cut ball!  Such balls were a major step in the evolution of the golf ball, replacing the hand-hammered ball.  

A line-cut ball was originally molded in a smooth gutty mold and then removed and placed into a small cutting lathe designed to score the surface of gutta percha golf balls.  The ballmaker would turn the lathe's handle and that caused the machine to rotate the ball, cutting lines into its surface.  After the ballmaker cut one set of lines around the circumference of the ball, he would remove the ball, turned it 90 degrees, and then cut in a second set of lines.  Typically, the resulting mesh pattern would be reasonably symmetrical, often times making it hard to distinguish a line cut ball from a molded mesh ball. 

On this ball, the mesh-pattern lines are clearly not symmetrical, as the ball maker did not cut the second set of lines at a right angle to the first set of lines.  In addition the lines on the ball are of various depths and you can see how the lines themselves are crooked in places. Both of these elements are the result of the inconsistencies of scoring a ball on a ball lathe and turning the handle by hand. 

These inconsistencies create not only an interesting look, but they provide proof that this ball is a genuine line-cut ball, made after ballmakers stopped hand-hammering balls but before they used molds engraved with the mesh pattern found on line cut balls.  This would have been for a period of time roughly between the 1870s and 1890.

A brilliant, historical ball in mint condition. 

TCA2 V2 p 763-764

This ball is shown 2nd from the right in the bottom row in the accompanying large group image, and to the the far right in the accompany image of 6 balls.

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