jega auction sold one of these earlier. Only this one has the stamps on the back. The gutta percha inlaid on the face was originally made with small perforations, most of which remain.
Back is stamped "Nicol, Leven, Warranted Hand forged, Pat 15425" with Nicol's hand cleekmark. 40" shaft appears original as does the leather grip.
George Nicoll began to make clubs in 1881. On August 14, 1893, he applied for a patent on this distinct iron. It's unique feature is the gutta percha that Nicoll inlaid in the face. Gutta percha golf balls were in use when this iron was made, and Nicoll was trying to find a material that would grip the ball and prevent the "slipping" that could occur on a smooth face iron. Sometimes he also used a leather insert.
Quite a bit of extra work was needed to prepare the cavity to hold the insert. Evidence of hand workmanship is found around the perimeter of the cavity.
Nicoll did not complete his patent, so a patent was never issued for this club. Judging from the rarity of these irons, they received little interest which would explain why Nicoll did not complete his patent application.
The gutta percha inlaid on the face was originally made with small perforations, most of which remain on this particular club. Unlike prior Nicoll gutta percha face irons sold in JEGA auctions, this one is also clearly marked on the head. The back is stamped "Nicol, Leven, Warranted Hand forged, Pat 15425" with Nicoll's hand cleekmark. The 40" shaft appears original as does the leather grip.
TCA2 V2 p 392
This club is easily recognized in the center of the accompanying group image.