However, very few pieces of mauchline depicting the ‘national’ game appear to have survived. This snuff box offered for sale at Gorringe’s (23% buyer’s premium) in Lewes on November 8 has everything going for it, save perhaps its condition.
Measuring 5in (12cm) across, it is decorated to five sides with detailed images of figures playing links golf variously titled The First Hole, Putting, Using the Heavy Iron, Taking a View of the Office and After the First Round.
The use of penwork decoration (rather than the later transfer printing), the style of dress and details such as the blacksmith-made irons date it to the second quarter of the 19th century. To the interior is the stamp C Stiven for the maker Charles Stiven of Laurencekirk. Stiven’s sons continued the business, their ‘scotch boxes’ and tartanware among the exhibits at the 1851 Great Exhibition.
Golfing antiques are famously ‘not what they were’ but this rare box was avidly contested, despite some small splits to the joints and a ‘smiling’ lid. Estimated at £80-120, it took £3200.