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Description1990's Jack Stephens Augusta National Masters Green Jacket. At once the symbol of the nation's most celebrated golf course and of the sport's highest level of achievement, the Augusta National Green Jacket serves as the figurative "white whale" for hundreds of advanced golf collectors. Powered by those twin collectible engines of supreme relevance and bedeviling elusiveness, the Green Jacket generates an enormous stir whenever it manifests on the auction circuit, and we expect this offering to be no exception. Course rules mandate that the garments are never to leave the Augusta grounds, so those rare few that surface tend to derive from figures whose fame and/or influence supply flexibility to the ordinance. This was, of course, the loophole that brought course founder Bobby Jones' jacket to the Heritage auction block in August 2011, when it realized a price of $310,700 in our Chicago "Platinum Night" event.
Jack Stephens stood as one of the most influential figures at the Georgia landmark course for the final four decades of his life, seven years of which were served in the role of Chairman. Certainly it was Stephens' position as Augusta's chief executive that gave him the opportunity to save his jacket for posterity, and it is proudly presented here to the collecting community.
Highlighting the front of the kelly green blazer is the unmistakable logo of the Augusta National, in the form of a circular patch displayed over the heart. The interior lining holds dual tagging, representing Cincinnati based tailor "Hamilton" and the logo of the Augusta National, the latter bearing a handwritten "J. Stephen" attribution. The jacket's buttons--three on the front and two smaller ones on each sleeve cuff--are all original, and, again, cast in the image of the Masters logo. The back of each button reveals creation by "The Waterbury Button Company" of Cheshire, Connecticut. Interior right breast pocket holds manufacturing label reading, "Union Made in U.S.A., Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union, Cust: 48 REG, Date: 09/10/91, No: 321528 Coat."
A thorough examination of the jacket finds no cause for condition caveats. The fact that this Green Jacket represents the second auctioned by Heritage in as many years should not fool collectors into believing that another offering might soon surface. It can be (and typically is) years between appearances in the hobby marketplace, so those who have ever dreamed of ownership are advised to take this opportunity seriously.
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