The final hammer fell on The Sam Snead Collection of Golf Memorabilia, the most significant single-athlete collection from the sport ever offered at auction, Sept. 25-26, in an online-only event presented by Heritage Auctions
The third and final installment of Snead's voluminous assembly of personal keepsakes retained from nearly seven decades atop the golfing world, all offered in the first session, brought the total tally for the collection to $3.38M. The second session of the auction, anchored by the personal collection of leading hobbyist Bob Burkett, presented a fascinating assortment of early relics spanning well more than a century of links history.
"This auction marked the last time many collectors would be able to bid on a Snead treasure," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage, "and the first time so many 19th century trophies and medals had been offered at auction. On all sides bidders responded enthusiastically."
The largest fireworks of the two-day sale came from the Major Championship trophies won by Sam Snead at the PGA Championship in 1942 and the Masters Championship in 1952. The historic hardware garnered winning bids of $143,400 and $113,525, respectively, while the putter that Snead purchased at St. Andrew's in 1946 and used to win his sole British Open Championship that year commanded a $31,070 result, the same figure realized by Snead's 1939 Ryder Cup trophy issued to the golf icon as team captain.
President Eisenhower took top honors in the Burkett Collection, Ike's set of 12 match-used clubs garnering a world record price of $41,825 in spirited bidding. The sole Bobby Jones winner's trophy available in the collecting hobby proved enduring collector allegiance to the Golden Age golf god, to the tune of $31,070.
Other auction highlights include:
1954 Masters Tournament Winner's Sterling Silver Humidor Presented to Sam Snead: Realized $26,680.
1946 British Open Gold Medal Won by Sam Snead: Realized $25,096.
1925 Francis Ouimet Gold Medal from The Country Club: Realized $20,315.
1953 US Open Runner-Up Silver Medal Won by Sam Snead: Realized $17,925.
1870s Original Photograph of Young Tom Morris by Tom Rodger: Realized $9,560.