A walking stick once owned by Irish republican leader Michael Collins has sold for more than five times its estimated value at an auction in Northern Ireland.
The phone buyer, from the Republic of Ireland, purchased the stick for £52,000 (€60,000/ $60,170) plus fees at a sale at Bloomfield auction house in Belfast.
The stick had been held by a private collector for the past 42 years and Karl Bennett, the managing director of Bloomfield Auctions, said his client felt it was time to see the stick go into the right hands, especially coming up to 100 years since Collins' death.
The Collins' walking stick, which has a silver collar and tip, was accompanied by a letter of provenance and had originally been estimated to go for potentially £10,000.
“Today saw an auction house record,” Mr. Bennet told the Press Association news agency. “We are delighted to see that the Michael Collins' stick made an incredulous £52,000 plus fees."
He confirmed the stick had sold to an institution in the Republic of Ireland and, while he could not reveal their identity, he was confident the stick would go on public display.
Police files tracking Collins' activities during Ireland’s War of Independence also sold for £6,800 at the police and military-themed sale. It was also bought by a phone bidder from south of the Border.
The intelligence reports on Collins, who led the IRA’s fight against British forces in the War of Independence, were contained in a dossier of Royal Irish Constabulary documents that cover the period 1920 to 1922.
The century-old artifacts related to the Irish republican leader were among a series of historical lots that went under the hammer.
Love Irish history? Share your favorite stories with other history buffs in the IrishCentral History Facebook group.
Other items included a service medal from the 1916 Easter Rising complete with its original box, which sold for £1,800.
A gate from inside one of the H blocks in the Troubles-era Maze paramilitary prison sold for £340.
Outside of Ireland, the auction also included two pieces from dining sets, a porcelain cream jug, and a spoon, that would have been used by high-ranking Nazis Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels on their personal train carriages during the Second World War.
The jug sold for £1,700 and the spoon for £1,100, both to private collectors from Northern Ireland.
A drummer's belt worn by a Scottish soldier, Captain William McDonald of the 93rd Highlanders, recording every battle he fought in, including during the Crimean War, before his death at the battle of Lucknow in India in 1858 sold for £300 to a buyer in Scotland.
The sale also included a small bronze penal cross from 1729, an item designed to be easily hidden from view during a time when the practice of Catholicism was suppressed under the repressive penal laws. It sold for £450.