March 2012

copper slof

In January we reported about this bronze slof (head) of a colf club which the seller dated from the period between 1586 and 1625 (see underneath).
Advancing knowledge however shows that this precious copper slof is not from that period. Experts from the ancient ‘Kolf society Aan is Winst’ in Venhuizen in the Netherlandish province of North-Holland had a good look at our photographs and had to come to the conclusion that ‘our’ slof was not from the above mentioned period.
In their knowledgeable opinion the slof is not a colf slof to play the long game of colf, (until the end of the 18th century) but a kolf slof for the short indoor game of kolf which came into view at the end of the 18th century. They have in their collection a kolf slof which looks identically to the slof on the picture and they have dated it from around 1874, the year that their society was founded. For more details about the indoor game, have a look at our book ‘Games for Kings & Commoners’, the chapter ‘From Colf to Kolf’.
The kolf players from Venhuizen are of the opinion that next to repairing the tear and wear of the sole, it could also be that the sole strip was added to manipulate the centre of gravity of the club head.

Under the heading ‘Mail’ we reproduced some weeks ago the first part of an extensive article about ‘jeu de mail’ by Henri Jakubowicz which was published in the magazine ‘Through The Green’ in December 2002. This first part dealt with the history of jeu the mail and the bibliography concerning part 1 and 2.
We now reproduce the second part of the article in which Jakubowicz reviews the game as it was played from the 16th century till 1939 in the region of Montpellier in the southeast of France.
Several historians are of the opinion that jeu de mail was the origin of Scottish golf. Henri isn’t.
Happy reading!