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  • Satire that's worth £800 per page
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • Satirethat'sworth�800

Satire that's worth £800 per page

When Thomas Mathison wrote The Goff: An Heroi-Comical Poem in Three Cantos in 1743, he probably had little idea of how desirable it would become. He was only in his early twenties, and the book is just 32 pages long.

That's quite long for just two poems, but quite short to sell for £25,800, which is what an Aberdeen man paid for it on August 18.

However, the book is the first one printed which is devoted entirely to the game, and virtually the only source of information about the players of that time: the 'Caledonian Chiefs', the Leith Links and the way the game was played.

So despite being a satire, it is hugely desirable to collectors of golfing memorabilia, especially as there are only a handful of copies. This is marked as 2nd edition at the front, but is arguably 3rd edition, having come out in 1793, with the true 2nd edition coming out in 1763.

Mathison was already dead before even that, but nevertheless this edition had a new dedication: "to all the lovers of Goff, in Europe, Asia, Africa and America", and an addendum which named the players left blank previously. Only three copies of this edition are known to exist. 

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • Satirethat'sworth�800