Lot # 3: c.1855 James Wilson Middle Spoon

Starting Bid: $1,000.00

Bids: 8 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring 2023",
which ran from 4/5/2023 12:00 PM to
4/22/2023 8:00 PM

James Wilson learned clubmaking from the illustrious Hugh Philp, serving as his assistant for twenty-three years. Wilson eventually opened up his own shop in the golfing mecca of St. Andrews, and eventually became friendly business rivals with Robert Forgan. (Forgan was Philp's nephew and began working for Philp just before Wilson left. Forgan took over Philp's business in 1856.)

Wilson's clubs, dating after 1852 when he struck out on his own, were made at the beginning of the gutty ball era. The stylistic changes employed in club construction to accommodate the increased hardness of the gutty ball were only beginning to take shape when Wilson was making his own clubs prior to his death in 1866. Consequently Wilson's clubs continued to be made in the manner of Philp's clubs, which make Wilson's clubs most significant and highly desirable.

Today, clubs bearing Wilson's name are few and far between, but the known examples demonstrate that Wilson was a craftsman of the first order. The lines and stylistic qualities of his clubs are among the best, as this club demonstrates. The finish on this club is original, as is the 41" hickory shaft, sheepskin grip, and neck whipping.  Face depth is 1", head length is 5 1/2", head width is 1 7/8". Nice thick pegs in the sole indictate that this is likely one of Wilson's older clubs. So, too, does the  shaft. It is exceptionally thin across its lower half, like many a feather-ball club. 

This is a not just another great club, it has a direct connection to Philp and reflects his work.

For more on Wilson, see TCA2 V1 p69.

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