Question: I have attached a photo of art used to illustrate a pamphlet included with a game found in an old seashore house we purchased. We would appreciate anything you can tell us about the game, its maker and if it is a collectible. - A.G., North Wildwood
Answer: Your Schoenhut Indoor Golf Game was made by the A. Schoenhut Co. of Philadelphia. Founded in 1872 by German emigrant toy maker, Albert Schoenhut (1848-1912) the company was internationally famous for its children's pianos, wooden dolls and an elaborate Humpty-Dumpy Circus complete with menagerie, circus performers and band.
Schoenhut's golf game, a popular parlor pastime from its debut in 1921 until the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, was designed for adults. Although the game is played with a stick resembling a golf club's shaft, a 5-inch, carved figural golfer in player stance replaces the club's head. Players can choose golfer Tommy Green or his gal pal Sissie Lofter who swing, drive and putt using a set of three little clubs. Their actions are controlled through use of the shaft's thumb-triggered lever mechanism.
The original basic Schoenhut game, which sold for $10 to $15, consisted of Tommy or Sissie in classic 1920s golf attire, wood, iron and putter clubs, two celluloid balls, two sand traps, water hazard, green, tee box and tees, boundary marker, score pad and flag. Additional players, clubs, holes and obstacles could be purchased to make the game more realistic and interesting for one player or a team.
Folks who collect golf memorabilia or games presently pay $1,350 to $2,400 for a boxed original or enhanced Schoenhut golf game complete and in mint to excellent condition, as they are quite rare. Other examples bring $250 to $1,000 based on mechanical or other condition issues and missing items.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Life section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, N.J. 08232. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.
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