Genuine hand carved shell cameo and inlaid wood work frame.
Shell: Cassis Madagascariensis
Cameo Size: 110 mm
Frame Size: 26,5 cm / 22 cm
Top quality cameo,designed and carved by Bimonte Sorrento
Golf was played at St Andrews as early as the mid-16thcentury, with the earliest written evidence dating to 1552. A document, bearing the seal of Archbishop Hamilton, makes reference to the public ownership of the links, which were commonly used for ‘playing at golf, futball, schuting, at all gamis’. It is likely that these games, including golf, had been regular pastimes for some years prior to the deed.
Golf continued to be played throughout the 1600s and 1700s. By March 1754 twenty-two ‘Noblemen and Gentlemen of Fife’ had decided to provide a silver club for competition at St Andrews. The date chosen for the first Challenge was 14 May. The Silver Club was to be competed for annually and, according to the rules, the winner would become ‘Captain of the Golf’ for the year.
The regulations for the Challenge were very similar to those drawn up by the Gentlemen Golfers of Edinburgh in 1744, one difference being that the competition in St Andrews was to be played over 22 holes. Fourteen subscribers paid five shillings each to compete. William Landale, a local merchant and town councillor was the winner of the inaugural Challenge, for which fourteen subscribers paid five shillings each to contest.
Although the winner became ‘Captain of the Golf’, there was not yet a society for him to serve; the role of Captain at this time being to resolve disputes and inspect the links.
The rules of the Challenge also stated that it was the duty of the new Captain to provide a silver ball to be attached to the Silver Club, a practice which continues to this day.