Specializing in Fine Antique Golf Clubs and Historic Memorabilia

Lot # 17: The Dead 'un Backspin Water Iron

Starting Bid: $1,250.00

Bids: 11 (Bid History)

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The Dead'un iron is an absolutely wonderful club. It was devised with holes that extend all the way through the face in an effort to add backspin to the golfer's shot. But it could do more than that.  Like the perforated face water irons of the early 1900s, the drilled face Dead'un was the club of choice in certain water situations. 

The back of the toe on this iron is marked "W. Gibson & Co, Kinghorn, Scotland, Cosby" and "Made In Scotland." The back of the heel is marked "Warranted Hand Forged" with Gibson's Star Cleekmark.  The sole is stamped "The 'Dead'un' ".  Notice how the writing on the back of the heel and toe is placed at the extremes of the heel and toe.  This identifies a club that was genuine made with holes drilled through the face. 

Occasionally collectors run across drilled-face clubs with obliterated lettering all across the back of the head. This occurs when such clubs were originally made as normal clubs and then an unscrupulous individual cuts or drills out the face in an effort to trick unsuspecting buyers into thinking their altered club was a rare water iron, which typically sells for significant sums. Clubmakers put the stamps on last, so the clubmaker will make the effort to locate any lettering away from any holes or slots that extend through the clubhead if at all possible.

As mentioned, the back of this club is marked "Cosby". This is because the club has a Cosby cane shaft, recognized by the braiding around the lower area of a six-sided bamboo shaft..  Cosby's 1924 US patent covered including a solid steel core in the shaft, but this example appears to have a thick solid wood core surrounded by six lengths of cane glued together and braided around its lower extremities.

One last thing to note:  The grip uses six lengths of cane around a solid wood core. The exterior face of each piece of cane has been hollowed out down its length to create a "corrugated" grip which can be seen in a couple of the images. The grip itself is leather that has been neatly and tightly sewn together down its length.  A most interesting club with a lot going on.





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