Golf has thrown up a hoard of memorabilia in a host of media, from the clubs and balls to music sheets and haircurlers, via paintings, needlework, ceramics and silver, but there was very little furniture on golfing themes, and certainly no other recorded cabinets for storing clubs such as this example, which turned up at David Lay’s Penzance , Cornwall, salerooms on January 26.
With ribbon-tied golf clubs carved to each panel door, flanked by panelled columns with scrolled acanthus capitals and lion paw feet, the simple interior fitted with brass hooks for hanging outerware and a later rail to keep the clubs from falling out, the cabinet was stamped for Hindley & Wilkinson, London cabinetmakers known for their carved furniture, and had most likely been commissioned by a wealthy Edwardian gentleman who was besotted with the game.
Consultant David Stirk, formerly of Christie’s and author of six books on the subject, said that he had never come across anything remotely like it before and was moved to describe the cabinet as “possibly unique”. Specialist dealer Manfred Schotten recalled being offered a golfing cabinet a couple of years ago, but when I sent him a photograph of the Lay cabinet, he said that it was almost certainly the same one.
Measuring 4ft 51/2in high by 2ft 81/4in wide (1.36m x 82cm) and expected to fetch in the region of £10,000-15,000, the cabinet rather surprisingly failed to attract any bidders from overseas and eventually sold on the telephone to an English buyer for £12,000 (plus 10 per cent premium).
For putting away
UK: To some people it may just be another brown wardrobe, c.1900, with a bit of fancy moulding, mounting and carving, but to players of the game called golf it is a precious, possibly unique, artefact that speaks fondly of an enduring obsession.