Due to their smooth surface, the earliest gutty balls had difficulties
flying. Golfers figured out that a cut-up ball flew better than a smooth
ball, so ballmakers began to mark up the surface of the gutta percha
balls they produced.
In the December 27, 1907 issue of Golf Illustrated, Robert Forgan is
credited with being the individual who (by some point in the 1860s) was
the first to form a regular pattern on hand-hammered balls, "and the
same pattern has now continued ever since (13)."
This c.1870 ball offered here bears Forgan's hammering pattern. It
remains in splendid condition, the hammering pattern still clear and
present throughout the entire ball with much of the paint in tact.
Furthermore, the ball bears few strike marks. Overall, this is an amazing game-used piece of history!