Bonhams to sell world's finest private collection of antique golf clubs



2017-01-24 11:09:48

One of the world's finest private collections of antique golf clubs will be offered for sale at Bonhams later this year.

The Roberto Family Trust Golf Collection, which spans three centuries and includes more than 130 rare and important golf clubs, is expected to achieve up to $1 million when it crosses the block in Los Angeles.

Will Roberto began his journey as a collector in the 1960s, and has spent more than 50 years travelling the world in search of rare pieces which document the history of clubmaking from the 17th century to the late 19th century.

"Putting together this collection has been a wonderful, absorbing hobby which has given me decades of pleasure," said Roberto. "The time has now come for a new generation of collectors to enjoy these fascinating objects."

Amongst the rarest and earliest clubs in the collection is a left-handed, child's or light spur toe iron, dated circa 1690-1700. The club is one of only eight examples in existence, with most in institutional collections, and is expected to sell for $75,000-$100,000.

Further notable lots will include a Bowmaker's long nose play club circa 1750-1780, one of the world's oldest-known examples, estimated at $40,000-$60,000; a long nose wooden headed putter made circa 1780 by John Dickson, one of the earliest recorded club makers, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; and a blacksmith-made heavy iron club, owned circa 1780 by John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl, estimated at $20,000-$25,000.

The sale also includes a long nose putter originally owned by Scottish professional golfer Willie Dunn, Sr, and used in a famous match against Willie Park in 1859. Acquired directly from the DunnĀ  family, the club is estimated at $25,000-$40,000.

"The Roberto Family Trust's outstanding collection of early golf clubs and other golf memorabilia ranks among the top five in the world," said Bonhams Golf Specialist, Kevin McGimpsey.

"It represents a lifetime of enthusiasm and connoisseurship and provides an unrivalled opportunity to acquire pieces of great historical significance and rarity."

The sale of the Roberto Family Trust Golf Collection takes place at Bonhams in Los Angeles on March 29.

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