Old Tom’s picture archive goes on sale

'Old Tom' Morris and his son, Tommy.
'Old Tom' Morris and his son, Tommy.
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Treasures of golf’s original pioneer

A rare collection of Tom Morris-owned photographs has attracted huge interest and some big bids in an online auction.

The images date back to the mid-1850s and were discovered in 1991 gathering dust by two collectors.

They were bequeathed to friends of Old Tom and are believed to have been on display at Auchterlonie’s Golf Shop for decades before being moved for safekeeping during the air raids of World War Two.

Eventually they were stored away in a shed at a property on the outskirts of St Andrews.

Owned by ‘Old Tom’ himself, they include personal photos of him and his family along with images of early Open champions like Willie Park, Andrew Strath and, perhaps, the greatest of them all – his son, ‘Young Tom’ Morris.

The collection went on display during the 2012 St Andrews Golf Festival and is now being sold on the Green Jacket Auctions website.

The majority of the photographs were discovered in their original frames, which were removed to protect them from the deteriorating wood and brittle 100-plus year-old glass.

A studio portrait of Old Tom with his son has attracted the greatest interest with eight bids, pushing its price up from an initial £3000 to around £6000.

The auction is due to close on January 18.