The Claret Jug is perhaps the most iconic trophy in all of golf. Sadly, not many collectors will ever have the opportunity to own an authentic Claret Jug, as few exist in the collecting market. And since the original Claret Jug was always intended to be a traveling trophy, even Open Champions only began to receive their own version of the Claret Jug in recent years. So there are literally decades worth of Open Champs that do not have their own Claret Jug to display (or sell)!
All of this makes the presented Claret Jug even more impressive. The sterling silver bands on this Claret Jug are engraved up to, and including, Greg Norman's victory at the '86 Open at Turnberry. Simply put, if you could own a Claret Jug from any year from 1979 to 1999, it would be 1986. Such is the power of the Greg Norman name in the world of golf, as well as the dearth of quality Greg Norman memorabilia in the collecting marketplace.
We've been fortunate to offer some recently-produced "player" Claret Jugs, but make no mistake, this is the finest Claret Jug to reach the auction block since our friends at Heritage Auctions sold a Sam Snead Claret Jug for $262,900 in 2013 and The Golf Auction sold Mark Calcavecchia's Claret Jug for $95,525.
This sterling silver Claret Jug and its bands have matching English hallmarks from 1982 by famed Garrard & Co., the keepers of the Crown Jewels from 1843-2007. The bands are engraved with the names of all Open Champions up to Greg Norman's victory in 1986. Garrard was the Royal & Ancient's official producer of the Claret Jug in the 1980s. To our knowledge, the original owner of this Claret Jug had no ties to Greg Norman. Rather, it comes from the Estate of an avid collector of sterling silver pieces from Garrard (to our uninformed American collectors, Garrard is essentially the British version of Tiffany & Co.) with a special interest in horse racing and golf.
The Claret Jug stands 14 5/8" tall.