Peter Thomson golf clubs swing into auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 19th November, 2018

When Australian golfer Peter Thomson bought a set of Dunlop Maxfli clubs in 1957, he had already won the British Open Championship the previous three years running – and went on to win two more afterwards in 1958 and 1965.

In a note accompanying the clubs and golf bag – which will be one of the most interesting lots (if not the most expensive) at Abacus Auctions forthcoming Coins, Banknotes & Sporting Memorabilia sale from noon Sunday November 25 at 19A Hampshire Road, Glen Waverley – he says “They were the best one could acquire at the time!”

As well as a champion player, Thomson – who died in June this year – was an outstanding contributor to the game.

He was president of the Australia PGA for 32 years, designed and built golf courses throughout the world and for more than 60 years wrote for both newspapers and magazines.

Abacus Auctions sporting memorabilia expert Max Williamson says he has contacted the golf course Thomson designed, resulting in a lot of overseas interest in the clubs.

“I am hopeful they will end up on display in the foyer of one of them,” he said.

On the Australian Rules Football front, a 100-year-old Carlton jumper is the earliest known of its kind with the current Carlton monogram.

The jumper belonged to Ern Cowley who in 1918 won the Leading Goalkicker Medal (replaced today by the Coleman Medal) for his 34 goals.

Cowley played 23 games for Carlton between 1918 and 1919 and kicked 51 goals. The medal was awarded retrospectively in 2004 to his family at a special presentation dinner and is being offered with the jumper at the auction by his grandson who is now in his 80s.

Carlton has had six players win the Leading Goalkicker Medal – Mick Grace 1906, Cowley, Horrie Clover 1922, Harry Vallence 1931, Tom Carroll 1961 and Brendan Fevola 2006 and 2009.

The similar 1954 medal sold in 2010 at auction for $18,750.

Cricket memorabilia is another auction highlight with the balance of Australian Test spinner Ray Bright’s (1976-1986) collection to go under the hammer.

The collection features an empty whisky bottle etched for the 1981 Australian team to Sri Lanka, cricketer toby jug, four Invincibles signatures from the 1948 Australian Test team and 1977 Centenary Test cuff links.

The balance of Tasmanian collector Don Wigan’s autograph collection is also up for grabs with 122 signed photographs for auction, including Don Bradman, Len Darling, Lindsay Hassett, Bill Brown, Rodney Hogg and Neil Harvey.

Other cricketing memorabilia includes Victor Richardson’s 1930 Ashes medal and an unnamed Australian Test baggy green cap.

Abacus Auctions July sale featured a group of mostly sports-related posters. So successful was the auction that the auction house was offered further consignments and, this time, motoring takes the limelight with Griffon Motorcyclettes, Spido Oil, 1973 Indianapolis 500 and the Vespa motor scooter in the firing line.

In 1902, the well-established French Griffon Bicycle Company built its first motorcycle by fitting a Zedel engine to one of its bicycles.

Development was followed rapidly by racing success with one of its machines reaching 110 km/h two years later.

The company led the competition field until just before World War I and were acquired in 1927 by Peugeot.


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