Sometimes it is difficult to explain why a rare golf book sells for any given price. Case in point is the truly rare The Golfer’s Manual written by A Keen Hand, which was the nom de plume for Henry Broughman Farnie. The book was published in 1857 in Scotland and was the first book devoted entirely to golf related prose .
A copy sold at auction this past August for a very impressive price of $15,600. The copy was rated to be in fine condition. A copy in very good condition sold for $9,775 in 2003, a difference in price of almost $6,000. Some of the difference in price can be attributed to the condition and some to price inflation between 2003 and 2009.
We think it also illustrates the power of an auction sale when a truly rare item comes up for sale. We’ve tracked only four sales of the rare first edition over the last 15 years. When two bidders really want to get a copy of a rare book it drives the price up to a record sales price.