Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
includes Buyer's Premium (BP) 


    Early 1800's Unsigned Feather Ball. The feather-ball period lasted from the sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century when the gutta-percha ball came into vogue. Only the richest patrons of the game could afford feather balls in that they were time-consuming to make, with a full time maker only able to hand-produce three to four feather balls in a day. The leather used was untanned bull's or horse's hide cut into two round pieces for the ends and a strip for the center, being sized to suit the final diameter and weight desired. After softening with alum and water, the three pieces were sewn together with a small hole being left to turn the casing inside out so that the seams were smooth on the surface. This same small hole was used to stuff the select goose or chicken feathers, which were wet, into the ball's interior. The tiny hole was then sewn shut with a single final stitch. With drying, the leather contracted and the feathers (actually a natural polymer) expanded, resulting in an extremely hard yet elastic sphere. One old time writer said a good feathery was "as hard as whale bone". After painting and sometimes stamping the maker's name, the ball was ready for use. Only approximately 300 feather balls exist today.

    This used feather ball is a fine representative from the period when only the wealthy could afford to play golf. The ball is in well-used but solid condition, with intact seams and is completely original. Lot derives from the Philadelphia Private Golf Museum.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    10th-11th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 565

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2017 February 25 - 26 Platinum Night Sports Catalog Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You have a great company. I have bid with your firm at least 11 years.
    New York, NY
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2016 September 30 The Muhammad Ali Greatest Collection Auction
    2016 September 30 The Muhammad Ali Greatest Collection Auction
    REALIZED $315,669

    © 2016 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved