Fore! Tee up for golf collectibles: Yenke Peddler antiques

Summer pastimes include the worldwide sport of golf. With our present social distancing policy, this outdoor game can be easily enjoyed at our local courses. And professional tournaments are still being played with all the famous golfers, but without galleries. You can watch from home and still be part of the excitement.

The very first golf course — St. Andrews — was established in Fife, Scotland, in 1552. Almost 500 years later, the intrigue of this sport remains of strong interest to collectors.

The oldest clubs had wooden shafts and some were hand-carved. If one has the “Made in Scotland” distinction, it is quite valuable and rare.

Hickory was the common wood used in American clubs, with forged iron heads and hand-wrapped leather grips. These are prized articles for the collector. Iron shafts are more common, while today the technology continues to offer new materials.

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, played golf and was really the first female golfer. She had a cadet who carried her clubs on the course, under his arm. This is where the name caddie was derived.

Eventually, a canvas bag became vogue in the 1900s, enabling golfers to walk and carry their own equipment. You can still find these bags at auction or sales, a fun collectors’ tool.

The golf ball has its own history. First examples were made of cowhide stuffed with wet feathers, then dried. The next phase included Gutta percha, a rubbery type of wood pulp that was compressed and formed into a ball. Then came the wound rubber balls, which can be quite earthy.

Aside from the mechanics of golf, a collection can include trophies, American golf tobacco cards, mugs, porcelain plates, calendars, paper ephemera and autographs. Antique children’s clubs are scarce, making them highly sought after.

The top tournament has been rescheduled for fall this year — Nov. 12 15. The Masters takes place at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Instead of spring, we will experience fall at this iconic course. From Arnie to Jack to Tiger … all masters at their game!

Hello Ms. Yenke,

We acquired this pair of knickknacks. What are they and how were they used? Would you have any idea on their age?

M.T.,

Cleveland

Hi Meg,

Your curios are brown-glazed pottery and are purposed as string holders. After the Depression, string was the necessary closure for items purchased at a general store or bakery. The open back is where the ball of twine would be nestled, then fed through the hole on the top. Your set dates to the 1930s and are most likely from Japan. The horseshoe decoration has good feng shui. Value would be $75 for the pair.

If you have an item for evaluation, send a clear picture with history to Yenke Peddler, Brenda Yenke, P.O. Box 361633, Strongsville, Ohio, 44136. You may also email photos and information requests for Brenda to evaluate at kenyenke@aol.com.

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