1969 Ryder Cup Captain's Trophy Presented to Sam Snead. Conceived in 1926 and first contested the following year, the Ryder Cup is named for English entrepreneur Samuel Ryder, who donated the original trophy to be presented to the winning side in an annual battle between teams from the United States and Great Britain. Continental Europe would expand the field of competitors in 1979. Now in its ninth decade of existence, the Ryder Cup is the most noted team match play tournament in golf, and its history features a who's who of iconic figures in the sport, though perhaps none as esteemed as the man who earned this impressive prize for his captaincy of the 1969 American side at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.

    The 1969 edition of this international competition might be the most famous from the tournament's six-decade history, one that was initially marred by uncharacteristically poor conduct by both sides, with British captain Eric Brown instructing his team not to search for the ball of an opponent if it ended up in the rough, and American Ken Still deliberately standing too close to Briton Maurice Bembridge as he putted. But a single gesture of sportsmanship on the final play of the competition rescued the event.

    After sinking his par putt to complete the Americans' play, Jack Nicklaus famously conceded Tony Jacklin's short but missable putt, relieving the Brit of the anxiety of the chance to lose the Ryder Cup on the final stroke. The chivalrous act was the start of a friendship between the pair that survives to this day, and a jointly designed course near Sarasota, Florida was named "The Concession Golf Club" in honor of the gesture.

    The impressive design of the sixteen and a half inch tall symbol of excellence should be familiar to any true fan of international golf competition, an artfully crafted loving cup topped by a figural golfer. Still solely an affair of the British Empire and its former colony in 1969, this Ryder Cup bears Eagle and Lion imagery on the face along with the Stars and Stripes and Union Jack. Directly opposite are the engraved words "Ryder Cup." Engraved on the band just above the wooden base is the attribution: "Sam Snead, Captain 1969, Royal Birkdale."

    The gold-plated beauty exhibits a moderate degree of handling wear, but our catalog imagery should indicate that the aesthetics remain very strong, well in keeping with the enormous historical relevance and collecting appeal. Letter of provenance from Jack Snead.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2013
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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