A silver Royal North Devon Golf Club golfing medal
Lot 1
A silver Royal North Devon Golf Club golfing medal
Sold for £456 (US$ 731) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Ben Sayers Collection Ben Sayers (1857-1924) 'Wee Ben' as he was affectionately known (he was only 5ft 3in) was one of the most colourful characters in the hey-day of the Victorian and Edwardian era at North Berwick, when it was the most fashionable golfing resort in Britain. He was born in Leith and served his apprenticeship at Musselburgh and become an outstanding golfer who played in every Open Championship from 1880 until 1923. In 1888 at St Andrews, Sayers tied with Jack Burns for the Championship on 172, and when it was found that Burns had scored 86 and not 87 in the first round, he was awarded the Open title. Sayers tied for second place with James Anderson on 172 and shared the £8 and £6 prize money. Ben Sayers won 24 tournaments in his long career. Among Ben Sayers' many scalps in tournament play were such venerable names as Auchterlonie, Morris, Taylor, Vardon and Braid. His greatest strength though was in match play, particularly when in partnership with his great friend Andrew Kirkaldy.They played for Scotland against England from 1903 to 1913, except 1911. He achieved renown as a teacher of golf in society circles and was in demand in Monte Carlo and the USA. This stimulated the demand for his well regarded clubs, all of which were then made to order. Sayers gave lessons to Her Majesty Queen Alexandra over the nine hole course at Windsor Castle. He also gave instruction to the Prince of Wales, Princess Victoria, Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia of Connaught. It was in teaching the game that Ben Sayers was most influential with many of his pupils taking golf to all corners of the world including Dorothy Campbell and Frenchman Arnaud Massy who became the first overseas player to win the British Open in 1907. Ben's nephew, Jack White the professional at Sunningdale, won the British Open in 1904.. Ben Sayers died on 9 March 1924, and J.H. Taylor wrote; " Wee Ben was an inveterate and doughty fighter. Nothing and nobody, nor any combination, could daunt his lively fighting spirit. A match need only be suggested, and Ben was found eager and willing to enlist in the ranks, whatever the opposition might be. His small body carried within it an indomitable heart, and he made up for his lack of physique with a great determination and knowledge of the psychology of his opponent which was worth many strokes. No circumstances could flurry Ben. He carried a very wise head on his small shoulders." With death of Old Ben, the firm reverted from Ben Sayers & Son to Ben Sayers once more. Ben Sayers Junior (1884-1961) Sayers had two sons who followed him into the professional ranks. The eldest, Ben Sayers Jnr. (born in 1884) worked in Berlin and at Royal Wimbledon before returning to North Berwick in 1913 to join his father in the business. Also in 1913, George Sayers took up a position in Pennsylvania, at the Merion Cricket Club near Ardmore. By the early part of the 1900s, Ben Sayers & Son exported golf clubs to South Africa, Japan, Canada, the USA, and India. Young Ben was a leading innovator, patenting many new designs. In 1906 he experimented with a ' Dreadnought ' driver which had an extra large rounded head, deep faced which was slightly convex, and the shaft longer than standard. The company was also one of the first to start using loft and lie machines, and also to measure swingweight to ensure that matched sets were exactly that. Young Ben also later introduced a Registered Balance Set scheme whereby a player's specifications were kept on file, and each club was stamped with an individual registered number. The company also produced the 'Benny' putter which was regarded as revolutionary because it had a squared-off handle, matching the square edges of the blade. The feeling that everything was right-angled made for greater accuracy. This putter was used by Henry Cotton during his distinguished career. It was in teaching the game that Ben Sayers was most influential with many of his pupils taking golf to all corners of the world including Dorothy Campbell and Frenchman Arnaud Massy who became the first overseas player to win the British Open in 1907. Ben's nephew, Jack White the professional at Sunningdale, won the British Open in 1904. At the Golf Trade Exhibition, Weybridge, Surrey June 1920, Ben Sayers & Son clubs 'gained 9 of the 12 Awards'. The quality of their golfing product was appreciated the world over. In 1924, Charles Gibson was asked to make a miniature set of golf clubs for Queen Mary's Doll's House. Ben Sayers at North Berwick made the irons and Gibson made the wooden clubs. The leather golf bag was two and a half inches high and the clubs were three and a quarter inches long. The Doll's House was displayed at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley and is now on view at Windsor Castle. The aim of the project was to raise money for children's charities and Queen Mary wrote personally, thanking the clubmakers. In 1934, Ben Sayers Ltd. opened a retail outlet at 56-60, High Street which was visited by many well known golfers. Ben died in 1961. An end of an era. Medals & Badges
A silver Royal North Devon Golf Club golfing medal
With a centre decorated with thistles, a golfing figure on its reverse, with 'Vaughton' stamped beneath, hall marked Birmingham 1929, attached to its original red ribbon, two silver clasps and with a silver Fleur de Lille, presented in its original box.

The Silver Medal is a scratch competition played during the Autumn Meeting. Until 1888, the winner automatically became the next Westward Ho! Club Captain.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar Items