Jack Level, a portly resident of Elmhurst, Long Island, lives two lives. During the day he works as a press agent in the New York offices of RKO. At night he conducts his own business: the collecting and selling of old golf books, old golf prints, and other memorabilia to the game's many antiquarians. Level laid the groundwork for this nocturnal business in 1916 when he took up golf and began assembling all the books he could find on instruction. From this he gradually branched out into acquiring and selling golf curiosa. One day after World War II, he spied in a Third Avenue bar a stein decorated with a figure of an old-style golfer. He talked the bartender into selling it to him, and then set about collecting golf steins in earnest, searching for them in antique shops but working primarily through scouts for antique dealers. Today Level's collection of golf mugs, steins, pitchers, tankards and cups numbers 42 pieces, 32 of which are pictured above. Level, who himself is more businessman than antiquarian, believes all of the pieces were fashioned just before the turn of the century.
One of a set of four, this classic pitcher was made by Doulton Company of England. Level paid $10 for it.
Pewter cap of this German stein, Level believes, was confiscated by Hitler during metal shortage.
Lenox of Trenton, N.J. made this pitcher, and others like it, to serve as prizes for club tourneys.
November 8, 1954
Bejacketed golf of the 1890s, all wrapped up in his backswing, is the flashy star of this canister.
Largest piece in Level's collection is this stein, 16 inches high, made by Collamore, a New York City firm.