A William IV silver snuff box of rectangular form
Lot 228
A William IV silver snuff box of rectangular form
Sold for £1,125 (US$ 1,890) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A William IV silver snuff box of rectangular form
With foliate chased borders, reeded decoration to base, made by Nathaniel Mills, well stamped Birmingham 1833 hallmarks, bearing an inscription to cover 'Presented by James Ogilvy Fairlie of Coodham to James Littlejohn For Faithful Service Rendered During Eleven Years May 1859'.
3 inches in length


  • Major James Ogilvy Fairlie, the co-founder of Prestwick Golf Club in 1851 and co-founder of the Open Championship in 1860 had his family home at Coodham House, near Symington in Ayrshire.
    By all accounts he was a remarkable man, soldier (Ayrshire Yeomanry Regiment), landowner, sportsman and in 1850 became the Captain of the R. &.A.

    Malcolm Campbell, golf writer, 'Fairlie is credited as being the man who persuaded golf course architect Old Tom Morris to design Prestwick Golf Club in 1851 and of setting up the first ever Open Championship at the same venue nine years later.'

    The first Championship was held on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick (only one year after this snuff box was presented) and attracted eight leading Scottish golfers of the day who played three rounds of the 12 hole course in a single day. Only professionals had competed in the inaugural Championship and Major Fairlie proposed that the Prestwick Club should open the 1861 competition to include gentlemen amateurs. The advertisement stated that the Tournament was now "Open to the whole world". It worked. There was a 50% increase in the field – to 12 – which including Fairlie himself.

    'He was a leading character in the Royal & Ancient back in the early days and was a mentor to Old Tom. Old Tom held Fairlie in such high regard he acted as his caddy and it was Fairlie who took him down from St Andrews to Prestwick to build the golf course which held the first Opens.'

    Coodham House was built in memory of James's father, William Fairlie, by his widow Margaret who bought the estate in 1825 and commissioned a large and opulent country house as the new family home. It was here that James, who inherited the estate in 1845, began planning the Prestwick course and the Open Championship.

    Nathaniel Mills was a leading 19th century silversmith.
  1. Kevin Mcgimpsey
    Specialist - Golfing Memorabilia
    22 Queen St
    Edinburgh, EH2 1JX
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 131 240 2296
    FaxFax: +44 131 220 2547
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