JUNE 11, 2012
Patino Memorabilia Sale Disappoints In Many Ways
What makes a man part with probably the most important collection of golf
memorabilia in the world?
The Jaime Ortiz-Patino Collection had
countless treasures, including the Charles
Lees sketch of The Golfers at St Andrews,
the first-known copy of Golf Rules, the
Honourable Company of Golfers of Edinburgh, dating back to 1818.
It had 17th century Delft tiles depicting
golfing scenes, books on golf architecture
by Robert Tyre Jones and Alister MacKenzie, numerous Bernard Darwin volumes.
It had golf balls made by Allan Robertson,
the McEwans, the Gourlays, clubs and
balls made and used by the Morris family
and the same by the Park family. It had
sought-after golf prizes and medals, golf
clubs made by the Philps, the Rolls Royce
of clubmakers, the Dunns. It had paintings by Sir John Lavery, (James) Michael
Brown, Sir Francis Grant.
In short, it had almost everything.
Christie’s, the famous auctioneers in
London, thought so much of the collection that they toured it around the Far and
Middle East, and put together an impressively detailed catalogue. So why sell it?
Why not glory in the knowledge that you
have such priceless items?
The night before the auction Jimmy
Patino, as he is known throughout golf,
perched on a sofa in the corner of a bar at
The Ritz hotel in London, and considered
the question. “I always sell my collec-
tions,” he said. “I collected Impressionist
paintings and when I realised there was
one I could not buy and put up on my wall,
I decided to sell them all. Now I am selling
my golf collection.” He swirled a formida-
ble-sized drink in his left hand. “Besides,
they don’t want it at Valderrama. They
don’t like me there anymore. They have
taken down my picture. I have only been
three or four times this year.”
These last four sentences gave the
game away. In 1991 Patino had said: “I
believe that a collection should be a living
thing and that one should live with it. I
have my paintings on a wall. I use my sil-
ver every day. I read my books.” Clearly if
he could no longer do that, his only course
was to sell.
Jaime Ortiz-Patino, pictured here in 1997 with Colin Montgomerie
and the Ryder Cup trophy, is well-connected with golf history.