SI Vault
November 16, 1959
Frontier Justice
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November 16, 1959

Events & Discoveries

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Why the shift? Because the U.S. Treasury, whose concern with buying and selling gold exceeds even that of Tiffany's and its customers', had spotted the ad and reminded the Fifth Avenue jewelers that the manufacture of gold putters for putting or melting was against the rules. "It does not appear to be a customary use of gold," was the nice way the Treasury man said it.

To Tiffany's relief, the one gold putter it had sold was commissioned by Parker & Co., insurance brokers, as a reward to R. Leslie Cizek. A partner at Parker's, Mr. Cizek has served meritoriously for 30 years and shoots golf in the high 90s. Tiffany's patterned the club after a Spalding cash-in putter used by Mr. Cizek which retails for less than $20. Insuranceman Cizek reports the putter is well balanced, if somewhat heavier than his Spalding, and came in a satin-lined box. It is just the thing, he says, for putting across the living room rug. A law-abiding man, he has no intention of flouting the gold policy by using his trophy on the green.

But the gold in Mr. Cizek's putter is worth only three hundred dollars. Which means that the creative genius of Tiffany's as a nonoperative sporting goods maker spells out to a cost of a cool one thousand one hundred and seventy-five dollars.

Angling for Books

The quietest of all sports, perhaps, is book collecting, a pastime closely linked in spirit and philosophy to the gentle art of angling, which likewise combines the contemplative approach, patience, skill and an ineffable satisfaction in the rare catch. The other day angling and bibliophily came together in a confluence of their separate streams at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, where booklovers eyed 265 works of angling literature from the collection of the late J. C. Lynn as if the tomes were so many rainbows idling in a peaceful pool.

Lynn's was one of the last such great collections in the world. It contained a first edition of Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler, another of The Secrets of Angling, Colonel Robert Nevables' 300-year-old The Experienc'd Angler and a musty tome whose title page, reproduced here, reveals it to be:

The prize catch in the Sotheby pond was a second edition of Dame Juliana Berners' Book of St. Albans (SI, May 13, 1957 et seq.), which includes the 15th-century classic treatise on Fysshynge with an Angle.

Disposing first of numerous small fry, Sotheby's auctioneer, Anthony Hobson, finally asked for a bid on the Berners. The first cast of $1,400 curled out over the ears of onlookers and landed with a pleasing plop in the consciousness of Mr. Hobson. "Going to be a tough catch" was the word at the big bid. Up came another lure from a different corner of the room, flipped by a chap who offered successive hundred-pound raises with a quick jerk of a yellow pencil. Tense seconds passed and the bidding mounted. At $8,140 the yellow pencil stopped flicking, admitted defeat. Safely netted by a London bookstore manager was the Berners.

Whom did he represent? Well, a rare book dealer is as likely to tell you that as a Scot gillie is' to lead you to his favorite trout stream. But the word is that New York's famous collector Carl Otto von Kienbusch is smiling contentedly in his library these days, big winner in a quiet sport.

Football & the Faculty

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