Due to their smooth surface, the earliest gutty balls had difficulties flying. Golfers figured out that a cut-up ball flew better than a smooth ball, so ballmakers began to mark up the surface of the gutta percha balls they produced.
In the December 27, 1907 issue of Golf Illustrated, Robert Forgan is credited with being the individual who (by some point in the 1860s) was the first to form a regular pattern on hand-hammered balls, "and the same pattern has now continued ever since (13)."
This c.1865 ball offered here bears Forgan's hammering pattern. It remains in splendid condition, the hammering pattern still clear and present throughout the entire ball, and most of the paint in tact! Furthermore, the ball bears just a few strike marks. Overall, this ball is an amazing game-used piece of history!
This ball is shown to the bottom right in the group image.