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About CollectorInTheUSA

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    I collect many types, and especially am interested in antique arms, as well as general police memorabilia, for example truncheons and tipstaves.

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  1. Mike, your tipstaff does look Georgian or very early Victorian. I think it's the shape of the top and the handle that looks Georgian, not necessarily the length. I don't think the title "officer" was commonly used for constables that early on, and so perhaps not constabulary. I checked some historical population websites like findmypast and George Horne being a fairly common name, there are almost 250 George Hornes born plus/minus 40 years of 1760 in London, so my guess is it might be nearly impossible to identify this George Horne with any certainty. The National Archives in Kew might offer some more information so you might want to contact them by email.
  2. Have no worries Mark, I would add my voice to others and say that, to the extent we can take a look at an object and have an opinion about it without holding it in our hands, this appears to be a nice and legitimate purchase. The paint style looks right for the period (although perhaps a bit unusual to have the paint laid as it is right on the "bare" wood, but this is not unheard of). typically these wood truncheons were painted with not just one, but a couple of different paint layers, and after being dried, then monogrammed with crown and royal cypher in rather gaudy bright colors. The aged "craqueleur" you can see in the paint also points to it being right, and something I wouldn't typically expect fakers to try and reproduce. However, a slight caution in this case, as it looks like the craqueleur may not just show in the painted surface, but also on the bare wood surface. Is it? It's hard to tell from the photos. If the craqueleur is on the bare wood as well, in that case the truncheon may have been lacquered, which I can't say is very typical, and would lead me to question why this was done. Also, if you roll the truncheon or tipstaff over a flat surface such as a table to see where the high-points of the item touch the surface, you should see wear there, and it seems to me that the red painted decoration has appropriate wear in such high points. Finally, you can always take a black light to this object, in a very dark room, to see if the painted surface fluoresces. If it doesn't, the paint is antique. If it fluoresces, you have bought a dud. Everyone should be following these techniques, so that we can banish the fakes forever.
  3. Photos would help. Without photos, hard to express an opinion. I can say, however, that I have seen colors deteriorate over the years. For example, vivid yellow turns into ochre, canary blue turns into near black, etc. More than 200 years and sunlight plus oxidation can wreak havoc on painted surfaces.
  4. Just came across this post for the Surry tipstaff. Can I just say, I don't think it's legitimate. I think the engraving is spurious. If you evaluate the engraving of the coat of arms and on the words, you can easily see the engraving is sub-standard, child like, and not of the type of work that one finds in legitimate engravings of the period. If you want to see legitimate, high quality period engraving of a coat of arms on a tipstaff, you can take a look at this one: https://www.antiques-atlas.com/antique/rare_georgian_brass_tipstaff/as514a793 What do you think?
  5. 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.
  6. Looks like a fascinating book, well done! Do you have a few photos of the contents? Are there lots of photos? Also, it looks like a Kindle version is the first to be published. There was a mention of a hard copy, when will that be available? Will there be a soft copy version?
  7. 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! Dave, you bought the whole collection? There must have been hundreds of truncheons/tipstaves there? Do you still have them?
  8. 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.
  9. Great pieces all, and look to be in beautiful condition. These do all look right to me, if you had any concerns, I don't think you should. I know you also called these "tipstaves" but I would personally call them just "staves" which is how the old timers would call them (singular would be "staff" or "stave"). The one on the extreme right I recognize as the Perthshire "High Constable" stave, and is a great looking one with detailed coats of arms. And nice to see a Georgian City of Brechin one as I had only seen a Victorian one before. The Investiture staff was actually carried by "Stewards" of the ceremony at Caernarfon. Here is an old Pathe Newsreel of the ceremony, and if you look carefully, you can actually see the Stewards carrying these staves. There were no more than a couple of dozen made for the ceremony so they are also, very rare. The newsreel can be seen here:
  10. And also, on occasion I bought something (in my earlier days I must admit), brought it home, and sat down carefully with it under a proper light source, only to discover to my horror that some bit of it was reconstructed, or embellished, or even held with masking tape (sellotape for you Brits)! Once I looked carefully at a painted truncheon and found that it was re-painted. Another time bits of wood on a truncheon turned out to be barely dried wood putty. Oh, those were the heartbreak days... It took me a few years to stop buying "bargains" and take my time and use a good light source to examine a piece carefully!
  11. Wow, nine Scottish tipstaves is a very large collection indeed. As you likely already know they are all very very rare, so few to begin with, and even fewer survive, and so well done! Can you please upload photos? I'm sure we all would dearly love to see!
  12. You are being very charitable by calling it a souvenir! :-) But yes, many of us did all learn the hard way, buying mistakes and paying for our education... I just wish there was a way to warn that high bidder! But no, the seller of this tipstaff has made this a "private listing - bidder identity protected" (see by clicking on bid history). Oh well, at least the happy owner of this contraption will be able to use it as a bottle opener!
  13. To continue the discussion on Bow Street, there is presently a spurious "Bow Street tipstaff" on Ebay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tipstaff-vintage-constabulary/222737356820?hash=item33dc2e5814:g:eFsAAOSwrFtaHu3- It is of course a fake of the worst kind. In fact it's such a horrible fake, that its almost laughable that there would be a collector in our fraternity who would fancy owning it. In contrast, an authentic Bow Street Night Patrol painted truncheon recently achieved £1400 (not including 20% + VAT commission) at Reeman Dansie (UK) auction.
  14. I'm happy to hear you learned something new. Maybe you can teach us something on a subject you know well! As an aside, the Gorringe's tipstaff described as: "An early 19th century brass tipstaff, inscribed Police Office, Bow.Stn 2, with turned hardwood handle, 7.5in. Estimate £350-450" did sell for a hair under the low estimate. I assume there was only one bidder. All I can say in response is repeat P. T. Barnum's oft-quoted quip, there's a sucker born every minute!
  15. I completely agree with Mr. Cook. I think the "trick" to understanding engraving (if there is a trick) is to ask oneself, "If I were a professional engraver, would I be proud of this engraving as my handiwork?" The Georgian and Victorian metal workers and engravers were skilled (often highly-skilled) professionals, likely apprenticed for years, and many were even artistic. For the most part, they were careful about their work, and took pride in it, and received a fair price for it. As such, if you see a tipstaff with very sloppy engraving you may not be looking at original period work.
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