Spring 2020 Premium Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2020

Goldin Auctions is proud to present one of the most unique, if not most historic items ever offered. This offered hockey stick is an artifact that dates to the mid-to-late 19th century, having been narrowed to the timeframe circa 1850s to 1870s and is possibly the oldest known hockey stick in existence. For reference, a stick referred to as “The Rutherford Stick” reportedly sold in 2018 for 2.2 million dollars and that stick was dated to 1852-1856 and was reportedly donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada for display.

With the first recorded hockey game being played in Montreal in 1875, this stick dates as much as 25 years prior that game. About 30 years before the first game in Montreal, it was well known that the New England states were playing some form of hockey or “hawkey” (the word that originated from England). According to the “The Gazette” in Montreal, Quebec dated March 5, 1875 – “The game of hockey though much in vogue on the ice in New England and other parts of the United States, is not much know here (in Canada). In consequence he game of last evening (Montreal Football Club versus Victoria Skating Rink) was looked forward to with great interest.

The stick is owned by Gary and Germaine Morse and has been known in hockey circles as the “Morse Stick”. According to the Morse’s, this stick was given to them by Germaine’s brother Anthony Bean. Bean had found the stick sometime after purchasing his grandmother’s house in 1980 located in Northfield, Vermont. Having lived in Vermont for most of her life, Bean’s grandmother’s house held many personal belongings that had been collected over the years. This stick was discovered in the house and offered to Gary and Germaine. They ultimately became curious about the stick and through research and online images, came across an article about Gordon Sharpe’s famous stick (The Rutherford Stick) that also included a photograph that looked very familiar to the “Morse” stick.

The “Morse Stick” measures approximately 43 inches long when taking into account the curve of the stick and is a dark patina color with some age cracks, some warping and appears to have been formed and shaped from a branch or root. The end of handle and blade also appear to have been hand carved. According to analysis by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the “Morse Stick” stick is made of American Hornbeam or Eastern Hophornbeam with the common name Ironwood.

The “Morse Stick” has also caught the eye of the International Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in Toronto, Canada as J.W. “Bill” Fitsell, who serves on the Board of Directors of the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and documented his findings in a letter to Gary Morse stating “I have measured, traced, photographed and admired The Morse Stick on two occasions and compared it to other vintage stick. I find it to be a unique and most interesting artifact that fills the void in 19th century hockey history between shinny, ice polo and ice hockey and would be a valuable acquisition for any series hockey collector or museum curator.” As such, the Hockey Hall of Fame has offered to display this very hockey stick, recognizing the historical value to the sport. This stick comes with a copy of the letter from Bill Fitsell, the official Historian of the International Hockey of Fame to our consignor and an additional email correspondence from the Hockey Hall of Fame declaring “As the Hockey Hall of Fame would love to have it here as a donation and here on display”. Also accompanying this stick is an appraisal from G. Patrick Magee Fine Art Consultant and a member of the Interpol Art Loss Registry, who appraised this stick at a value of 3.5 million dollars. It also comes with a signed LOA from Gary and Germaine Morse along with a printed copy of the lineage of Germaine Morse’s family and also comes with a full letter of authenticity from the game used experts at MEARS, who have confirmed the authenticity and age.     

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
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