Lot # 73: 1893-1896 Spalding Long Narrow Blade Cleek

Starting Bid: $100.00

Bids: 19 (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

This cleek is one of the first clubs sold by the first company to manufacture and sell golf clubs in America.   According to J.M. Cooper in his book Early United States Golf Clubs by A.G. Spalding & Bros., Wright & Ditson and Bridgeport Gun Implement Co. (on the page facing page 1), the simple stamp of "Spalding," as shown on this club, was the cleekmark put on some of the first clubs sold by the Spalding Manufacturing Company in 1893. These clubs were imported from the UK before Spalding began making their own in the US. These first Spalding-stamped clubs bore no other marks on the head. Note that Cooper also believed that clubs stamped simply "St. Andrews" and sold by Spalding were also imported from the UK and sold in 1893 as well.

This club features that single Spalding stamp on the back of its long, narrow blade, and, according to Cooper, dates to 1893-1896. He shows this club on page 2 of his book Early United States Golf Clubs . . .

The original 38 5/8" shaft is also stamped "Spalding."  A knitted wool underlining is visible at the end of the original sheepskin grip—a unique construction element of these earliest of Spalding clubs! Knitted underlisting?  Yes!  In 1893, Spalding bought the Lamb Knitting Machine Company in Chicopee, Massachussetts, which made, obviously, knitting machines. There can be little doubt that the knitted underlisting on this club was made by Spalding.

This club is historically significant, being sold at the forefront of American golf by the first American company to sell golf clubs.

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