Adam van Breen, Ice on the Scheldt. Ca. 1680

Ice on the Scheldt. Attributed to Adam van Breen from about 1680. 25"x 35,5".

A colver, hands low at the end of his stroke, watches the ball skim the ice to an unseen target goal some 30 metres away, perhaps in front of the boy in a red tunic, holding a colf.

Whenever the frozen surface permitted, droves of burgers took to the ice to play colf, kolf, curling and bowls; stroll, skate, gossip, and rejoice in the sense of belonging to a greater community.

The short variant of ijscolf could easily be accommodated on the bustling ice.

Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland


• Golf through the ages by Michael Flannery, page 220. January 2004


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