This George Nicoll iron appears almost exactly like it did when it was originally made. The head shows no wear to speak of, and the two-tone emory-cloth pattern created on the face remains in perfect condition. This pattern was created by working the cloth briefly back and forth across the entire face and then vertically up and down across the middle section of the face. As shown in pictures two and three, depending on how the light hits the face will determine which portions of the face are light or dark. Emory cloth was the typical material used to clean irons during the nineteenth century, and the two-tone pattern created on this face was also typical. but there is much more to this club.
Still affixed to the shaft, just below the grip, is a good portion of a 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition paper label. These labels were glued onto all the clubs that were displayed in the exhibition. They all bore a hand written "GIE" across the top, "1901" in the middle, and across the bottom numbers/letters that are believed to indicate the case or location where the item was on display. The label on this iron still has part of the "I" and all of the "E" across the top, all of the "1901" in the middle, and part of its inventory/location number across the bottom. The writing on the bottom is there in part, an "l" and "y" being clearly visible.
There is no way to know which club this is in the catalog. The catalog uses numbers to list the clubs, and then typically describes the former owner or current lender of the vast bulk of the clubs, makers getting very little mention except for the likes of Philp. Furthermore, some catalog listings are for a group of "16 clubs lent by...", etc.
Today this club stands as a prime example of what an iron made in the 1890s looked like when new. The shaft and grip in this club are original. Furthermore, this iron has great history. It's enough to know that it was one of roughly 175 clubs on display at this historic golf exhibition.