A Victorian silver mounted presentation curling broom Maker's mark of Alexander Drummond of Perth, Edinburgh 1864
Lot 58
A Victorian silver mounted presentation curling broom Maker's mark of Alexander Drummond of Perth, Edinburgh 1864
Sold for £18,750 (US$ 31,208) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Victorian silver mounted presentation curling broom
Maker's mark of Alexander Drummond of Perth, Edinburgh 1864
A rare and possibly unique broom, the shaft a branch of gnarled wood, the top with curved 'walking stick' handle of silver engraved with applied cast detail, including holly leaves and berries, the tip with a curling stone terminal, the sweeping head is made of willow twigs, gathered under a cap of silver with similar engraved and cast design to that of the handle, the shaft with small presentation plaque, total length 145cm.

Footnotes

  • Almost equally with the stone, the most characteristic item of the game of curling is the broom.

    Even in the earliest references to the game the broom features prominently. It was used to clear the ice and to assist the passage of the stone from delivery to its destination in 'the house'. Much energy was spent in sweeping with the broom, and in vociferously controlling its use.

    Because of its importance, the broom – in a highly decorated form – was often used as a prestigious presentation, usually to a curling club's benefactor.

    The presentation plaque inscription reads; "Presented to the Rt. Hon. Viscount of Strathallan by Strathallan Meath Moss Curling Club in token of their regard for his lordship as a keen curler and liberal promoter of the interests of the club 1865".

    The holly, used as a decorative emblem throughout is the clan plant of the Drummond family, Earls of Perth and Viscounts Strathallan.

    In his 'History of Curling' published in 1890, the Rev. John Kerr writes that one of the oldest and most interesting clubs in Perthshire is the Strathallan Meath Moss. 'Through all its course the Strathallan family have treated the club as a darling child, and the annual meetings are like pleasant family gatherings, with Viscount Strathallan, the Master of Strathallan, or some member of the house generally presiding – laird, tenant, and cottar meeting together in mutual confidence and esteem.'

    This presentation broom is eloquent testimony to the mutual esteem between Laird and club.

    In 1985, during the World Curling Championships which were held in Glasgow there was an exhibition which included this broom at Kelvingrove Museum & Art Galleries.

    Bonhams is grateful to Sheriff David B Smith, the well-known historian of the game of curling, for providing the above note for this extraordinary piece of curling memorabilia.

    Bonhams is grateful to the archivist of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths for the following information which is held in their archives.

    On Monday 3rd April the Duty Book records that Alexander Drummond (Perth) submitted a 'Broom Mounting' for assay. Its weight is given as 4oz 10dwt and the duty paid on it was five shillings, seven and a half pence.

    The mark of A.D in a hexagon has been attributed by Henry Stuart Fothringham to Alexander Drummond of Perth. He registered a punch very similar to this in 1865. According to research undertaken by Henry Stuart Fothringham, his name appears in trade directories from 1856-67 as a jeweller & watchmaker and according to the duty books he submitted work for assay in 1865.
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Contacts
  1. Alexis Tortolano
    Specialist - Silver
    Bonhams
    Work
    22 Queen St
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom EH2 1JX
    Work +44 131 240 0914
    FaxFax: +44 131 220 2547
  2. Clare Blatherwick
    Specialist - Silver
    Bonhams
    Work
    22 Queen St
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom EH2 1JX
    Work +44 131 240 0915
    FaxFax: +44 131 220 2547