This circa 1835 heavy iron has a nicely dished face that is concave top to bottom. Its 13/16 inch-thick hosel measures 5 ¼ inches in length and has long, pronounced saw-tooth nicking. The hosel ping runs front to back, and not side to side as on all irons made after 1850. The sole is 9/16" thick just under the heel of the face and over a half-inch thick under the center of the face. Lastly, the 39 inch-long ash shaft is original to this iron. The grain of the old wrought iron is clearly visible on the back of the head. Evidence of a hammer weld remains low on the back of the blade just below the heel (hammer welds were left by blacksmiths when they hammered the hosel closed). All of these characteristics are just what a collector wants to see in an old featherball iron. They are beyond those found in irons made by the likes of Carrick and Gray and the other post 1850 cleekmakers.
The original grip, however, is gone and all that remains is an old underlisting. The slender ash shaft still retains two nails that once held down the base of the grip.
When you pick up this club and give it a waggle, you know you are holding onto a weapon. Without a grip this club weighs 1 pound 2.3 ounces. Given that this club has such a slender shaft and no grip, this iron head is heavy.
In the middle of Hugh Philp's career of making long nose clubs, if a golfer needed a heavy iron, this is a great example of what was being forged at the same time. And while irons are more durable than woods, irons made during the feather-ball era are far less in number.
One last point. In the world of golf collectibles the older a pre-1890 club is, the more that it is worth. Every auctioneer knows that, which is why some are tempted to over estimate the age of a club, either that or they do not know any better. This auctioneer is committed to honest and accurate date assessments to the best of his ability on every club offered.
The golf ball in the first image was included for perspecitve. It is not part of this lot.