Glorious Golf Artifacts on the Auction Block

"The Golfers" has been called the most famous painting in the history of golf, and it'll will soon be available... to the highest bidder.

Origins of Golf: The Jaime Ortiz-Patiño Collection,  will be auctioned off on May 30 at Christie's in London. 

The collection was built over a span of 25 years by Señor Ortiz-Patiño... founder of Spain's acclaimed Valderrama Golf Club... and, in addition to the aforementioned oil painting by Charles Lees  (1800-1880), includes an extraordinary array of historical golf treasures. 

Feathery golf balls, blacksmith forged irons and an array of handbooks, artworks and oddities too numerous to mention, are offered in some 400 lots now open for viewing in anticipation of the upcoming sale.  

Personally, I've got my eye on a rare golfing punchbowl, a guttie golf ball marking gadget and "The Golf Course, North Berwick" a romantic and evocative painting by Sir John Lavery (1856-1941).  All would go well in "The George Ferrier Room", a kind of golf museum I'm creating in my own historical golf house. 

Unfortunately, unless my fledgling museum receives a rather rich endowment, a massive donation or some unexpected public financing, I'm guessing my limited budget will keep me out of the bidding altogether. I will however, follow it with lust, longing interest. The collection is expected to raise more than $3.2 million.