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    Description

    Circa 1865 Campbell Hand-Hammered Gutta Percha Ball. The modern era of golf began in the 1850's when the feathery golf ball was replaced by the gutta-percha golf ball. It was inevitable that someone would attempt to replace the expensive and fragile feathery with a more resilient weatherproof golf ball. A relative of Rev. Robert A. Patterson, a missionary working in Malaysia, discovered the rubber-like material that comes from the dried sap of Sapodella trees of East Asia. This substance was used in sheet form as packing material to send a statue home to Robert Adams in Scotland, who immediately attempted to create a golf ball from it.

    The first generation gutta percha (or gutty) golf balls were smooth and had erratic flight patterns. It was soon recognized that the nicked-up used balls flew much truer than the new ones which made it much easier for the golfer to predict his shots. Prior to this realization the gutty was not superior to the feathery as far as performance was concerned. But intentional nicking or scoring of the ball's surface opened up a whole new industry including development of the hand-hammered and knife-cut patterns, to be followed in the 1860s by the molded gutty. Hand-hammered gutties were made by placing the ball in a mount and indenting the surface of the ball with the sharp end of a ball peen hammer. J. Campbell hand-hammered gutties are very rare, as are signed, hand-hammered balls in general. Campbell was a golf professional in the 1850's and 1860's. Very few of his golf balls have survived. This specimen shows considerable use with scattered indentations and a coating of ancient dirt, but it still presents very well and remains solid and spherical. Lot derives from the Philadelphia Private Golf Museum.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    10th-11th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,995

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