Offered here is the finest known golf ball from the greatest golfer of his generation, Bobby Jones.
Collectors, especially those crossing over from other sports like baseball, are often shocked at the absolute non-existence of Bobby Jones autographed golf balls. The greatest baseball player of the same era, Babe Ruth, autographed many thousands of baseballs, which can be purchased at any moment on eBay or at dozens of different auction houses. Unlike those thousands of Babe Ruth baseballs, we know of less than a dozen Bobby Jones signed golf balls. And almost all of those examples have signatures that have partially or substantially faded.
Why do so few Bobby Jones autographed golf balls exist? Well, the answer is rather simple. The rawhide of a baseball was a phenomenal vessel for the fountain pens of the 1920s and 30s. But fountain pens simply did not work on the slick, non-porous, dimpled surface of a golf ball. Attempting to sign a golf ball with a fountain pen was usually an exercise in futility. Even if successful, the chances of that signature (sitting on top of the hard shell surface rather than bleeding into the leather of a baseball) still remaining 100 years later was slim to none.
With that info in hand, over the years we have identified exactly 3 Bobby Jones autographed golf balls that exhibit very little to no fading. And with no disrespect to those other 2 examples (one sold for $55,875 in our April 2011 Auction), the Bobby Jones ball is this lot is unquestionably the finest autographed Bobby Jones golf ball in existence.
This stunning full-signature "Robt. T. Jones Jr." in dark black ink dates to Bobby Jones' playing days in the 1920s. The ball too is a 1920s square mesh golf ball - before the switch to dimpled balls circa 1930. The model of the ball is a Spalding Kro-Flite, the exact model Jones himself played during this time period, meaning the likelihood that this is Jones' personal ball is a reasonable presumption, however impossible to prove.
This Bobby Jones signed golf ball will almost certainly set the new record for an autographed golf ball, as this ball is the gold standard upon which all other golf balls should be measured.
Certificate of Authenticity from Mark Emerson
Letter of Authenticity from Nessel Golf Specialists