Lot # 69: c. 1880 John Gray Cleek

Starting Bid: $250.00

Bids: 12 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Fall 2022",
which ran from 11/3/2022 7:00 PM to
11/20/2022 12:20 AM

Located in Prestwick, John Gray was one of the first blacksmiths to mark his name on the irons he made. Once he began to make golf clubs, Gray quickly became regarded as a cleekmaker of the highest caliber and remains so today. 

This circa 1880 John Gray cleek is entirely hand-forged from wrought iron. Drop-forged irons, which included the typical iron made in the 1890s and thereafter—including those marked "hand forged"—were not made from pure wrought iron. Instead, they were made from mild forged steel.

Both the face and the back of the blade are distinctly convex top to bottom.  This is easily viewed/demonstated by placing a metal edge ruler across either surface. Because the blade is so shallow, as cleeks typically are, the significant degree of radius given to both sides of the blade is not readily noticeable. 

The shaft is long, measuring 40" and has a slight bow, curving towards the golfer up near the grip (Karsten Solheim would love this club!)  The Jn. Gray stamp on the back of the blade is bold and clear.

The 4 1/2" long hosel is somewhat oval in cross section, as can be felt when turning the club with the hosel loosely held in one hand. This is the result of being forged by hand.  The asymmetry of the shaft can also be felt when turning the club while lightly holding the shaft below the grip. this is because the shaft was hand split and then worked down, not turned on a lathe.

What a nice John Gray cleek!

Views: 125