Lot # 13: Henley Union Jack Red Gutty Ball 1895

Category: Golf Balls

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 13 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Desert Mountain Collection",
which ran from 8/30/2022 6:00 AM to
9/17/2022 8:00 PM

Known as the "Union Jack" ball because the ball's surface is modeled after the national flag of the United Kingdom, this ball was made in 1894 by the Henley Telegraph Works Company, Limited. Not only is this uniquely marked ball a rare find as it is, but the fact that this has original red paint makes it an extreme rarity!  Red golf balls were used when frost or light snow was on the ground, or when daisies covered various parts of the course.

The February 22, 1895 issue of Golf (p. 406) talks about the Henley Union Jack and sings its praises: "The gutta of which the ball is made is of the finest; but the ball is different from other balls on the market, inasmuch as the nicking is entirely on novel lines.  It is grooved in a series of rings, divided into compartments and curiously interwoven with the happiest effect to the eye, as well as utility in scoring the longest flight.... The name "Henley" is printed on two sides of the ball, and this, together with its novelty above described, prevents a player from taking refuge in the well-worn excuse attached to playing the wrong ball—namely, that he did not know the one from the other, owing to their similarity of nicking, though coming from the factory of different makers."

This particular Union Jack ball is in superb original condition, showing only light use.  There are a few minor scuffs/chips in the paint as well as a couple of small strike marks as shown in the images. However these elements are minor and quickly pale into insignificance when viewing this stunning ball. Put this ball on display, and all eyes go to it first, it has that strong of a presence.  After all, white Union Jacks are among the most desirable and rare gutty balls in existence, which makes this original red one essentially a unicorn.

This ball is easy to pick out in the two group images that accompany this lot.  The ad shown for the white Henley Union Jack Pattern is from Golfing July 22, 1896.

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