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Nightbreak

George III Carmunnock Constable's Tipstaff

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Posted (edited)

Picked up from Canterbury Auctions last year, with a few manorial staves.  I believe it was once in John Green's collection, and he had two of them illustrated, plus a 33 inch 'short stave'.

20180112_101646.jpg

20180112_101646.jpg

Edited by Nightbreak

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Posted (edited)

I do remember this tipstaff...  Time does fly when you're having fun.  I thought the pre-sale estimate of £350 - 400 was a bit ambitious.  If I remember correctly it hammered at £350 and so with commission was very nearly £450.  You must have wanted it very much, and I can see why as it's a very pretty one.

Edited by CollectorInTheUSA
Sp.

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The Duke of Norfolk's staff I picked up in the same auction came to more than that and is considered Victorian, rather than Georgian.  And I have an Edinburgh High Constable's tipstaff that was £500 a couple years ago at Burstow & Hewitt.  Compared to those, I'd consider it a bargain, especially as they're so few in number.

At the same time, I was the only bidder on those lots, and even scored a small reduction on each. The auctioneer wasn't wasting time, passing on lots after one price drop.

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Several years ago, I had the opportunity of buying the late John Green's entire Scottish truncheon/tipstaff collection from his widow. Alas, I don't collect truncheons. That said, I did have some very nice Scottish police badges from his Estate. I suspect that his truncheon collection is now somewhat scattered. I sincerely hope that the finer pieces remained in the UK.

Dave.

 

Dave.

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His widow sold me a copy of his book on Amazon, and it was then I realized I had one or two of his pieces.  My interest is purely in the 24 - 36 inch decorated staves, but I won't say no to a good short tipstaff, either!  I've posted my collection in here already, but I know I'm still short a few good examples, like Dysart, Midlothian, and a proper Edinburgh long stave.

Some of the items John had, though, were absolutely lovely, like the Red Rod.

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On 16/05/2018 at 17:42, Nightbreak said:

The Duke of Norfolk's staff I picked up in the same auction came to more than that and is considered Victorian, rather than Georgian.  And I have an Edinburgh High Constable's tipstaff that was £500 a couple years ago at Burstow & Hewitt.  Compared to those, I'd consider it a bargain, especially as they're so few in number.

At the same time, I was the only bidder on those lots, and even scored a small reduction on each. The auctioneer wasn't wasting time, passing on lots after one price drop.

Perhaps you were the only bidder on the lots because they were estimated a bit high, but then on the other hand, it could just be that on the day, folks were sleeping in, or on holiday, or couldn't be bothered, or had spent all their money.  The sale rooms are odd that way, sometimes you get good bargains, and some times a collector who is flush with cash will drive prices up tremendously.  Sounds like on the day, you got lucky and didn't have to compete with anyone, which is the best possible scenario!  But you got a lovely, lovely tipstaff, and as long as the paint wasn't touched up on it, a fair value for the money!

On 17/05/2018 at 04:42, Dave Wilkinson said:

Several years ago, I had the opportunity of buying the late John Green's entire Scottish truncheon/tipstaff collection from his widow. Alas, I don't collect truncheons. That said, I did have some very nice Scottish police badges from his Estate. I suspect that his truncheon collection is now somewhat scattered. I sincerely hope that the finer pieces remained in the UK.

Dave.

 

Dave.

Dave, you bought the whole collection?  There must have been hundreds of truncheons/tipstaves there?  Do you still have them?

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I think he meant he was 'offered the chance', but didn't take it, as he's not a truncheon collector.

That particular staff from Canterbury Auctions wasn't my main interest, as I was after the Norfolk, Longe, and Cator family staves that were at Keys Auctions the year before, and I had been the underbidder there.  I know there was some bump-up in the price, but wasn't about to lose them a second time!  The Carmunnock tipstaff was a nice addition to the collection on top of that.

I'm still looking for one from the Keys sale, also from the Longe Family, but it hasn't appeared yet.  It might have been the Sheriff of Norfolk's staff, or a manor stave.  I figure the seller wishes to hold onto it a bit longer.

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On 19/05/2018 at 16:31, Nightbreak said:

I think he meant he was 'offered the chance', but didn't take it, as he's not a truncheon collector.

That particular staff from Canterbury Auctions wasn't my main interest, as I was after the Norfolk, Longe, and Cator family staves that were at Keys Auctions the year before, and I had been the underbidder there.  I know there was some bump-up in the price, but wasn't about to lose them a second time!  The Carmunnock tipstaff was a nice addition to the collection on top of that.

I'm still looking for one from the Keys sale, also from the Longe Family, but it hasn't appeared yet.  It might have been the Sheriff of Norfolk's staff, or a manor stave.  I figure the seller wishes to hold onto it a bit longer.

Oh, I see, not sure why I thought he would have bought the whole thing, lock stock and two smoking barrels...  There were hundreds of items (if not thousands).  

By the way, since you like painted wood staves so much, here is a picture of a young chap holding exactly such a stave.  It's one of the famous "Dempsey's People", now in the National Portrait Gallery.  My notes say:  

Although the inscription identifies this young man as a ‘policeman’, the work’s probable date of 1825 places  it some years before Sir Robert Peel’s 1829 Bill for Improving the Police in and near the Metropolis, which is commonly regarded as marking the beginning of Britain’s modern criminal justice system. The subject of this watercolour is not one of Peel’s professional force, but is rather one of those watchmen, street-keepers, thief-takers and sergeants of the night who were responsible for keeping the peace under the old parochial system.

 

IMG_7290.jpeg

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