A very rare copy of Charles Blair Macdonald’s Scotland’s Gift sold at auction recently for a seemingly impressive $6,000.
Macdonald was a founding member of the U.S.G.A. and designed The National Golf Links of America in Southampton, Chicago Golf Club and The Mid Ocean Club. He wrote Scotland’s Gift in 1928 in two editions: A standard trade edition, which is difficult to find, but not exceedingly rare. The other edition is quite rare and is a limited edition of only 260 copies. This version of the book was signed by Macdonald and was issued with a gold slipcase.
The copy recently sold had the slipcase present and included a hand written letter from Macdonald penned on letterhead from Old Battery Mangrove Lake in Bermuda.
While $6,000 is a nice price, it is actually a bargain price based on prior sales. In 2006, a copy of the limited edition sold for $8,625 without the slipcase and last year copies sold for $13,800 with the slipcase and $11,400 without.
Clearly, even collectable golf books are not immune to the recession. Although when Joe Murdoch auctioned off his collection in 1998 a copy with a slipcase sold for $3,450, we remain of the firm belief that the buyer who picked up the copy for $6,000 made an excellent long term purchase and came close to stealing a copy of this rare gem.
Charles Blair Macdonald