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, however, the mesh pattern is 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. This creates not only an
interesting pattern, but it provides 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.
This ball itself appears unused with only minor paint chipping, and presents exceptionally well.
TCA2 V2 p 763-764
This ball is shown bottom row far left in the accompanying group image.