Yes, you’ve seen this image before, as it is one of the most iconic images we have of the man we simply call “Old Tom”.
Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews commissioned a large oil painting of Old Tom Morris in the fall of 1902 (the painting was completed in 1903). That painting of Morris by Sir George Reid (1841 to 1913) is considered to be among the finest is the R&A’s vast collection.
When Old Tom was first shown this image, his response was reportedly “you’ve got the checks on my bunnet a’ wrang”. Well, if Old Tom’s sharpest criticism was that of his hat, I guess he didn’t mind it too much!
We have all seen this image reproduced countless times over the past 118 years; but most do not realize that on the same year the painting was completed, a limited number of photogravure prints were produced. It has been reported that approximately 50 were set aside for Old Tom Morris to autograph for friends of the R&A. Quite spectacularly, this example has also been autographed by the painter, Sir George Reid. It has been previously reported by another auction house that only two such dual-signed examples are known to exist. So we’re not sure whether this is one of those two, or if it is a newly discovered additional Morris & Reid signed example.
Image size is 17.25 x 12.5" and the print itself is larger. Framed to an overall size of 26 1/2" x 22". This 118 year old photogravure is in excellent condition, and the autographs are very high grade examples.
Letter of Provenance from Golf Links to the Past