A WALKING CANE owned by Irish revolutionary Michael Collins has sold at auction €11,000.
It was initially estimated to fetch around €4,000, but once the cane drew widespread national interest, the price estimations began to soar.
During the auction for "outstanding Irish art" at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin on Tuesday, frantic bidding from a number of interested parties saw the cane sell for more than five times its starting price at €11,000 to a determined phone-bidder.
It's understood the new owner of the cane will be keeping the item in Ireland, according to the Irish Examiner.
The thirty six inch important rosewood and silver mounted cane was sold with a letter of provenance (proof of ownership and origin) from the vendor at De Vere’s Irish Auction Auctioneers and Valuers in Dublin.
The 98-year-old walking cane, once carried everywhere by Collins was given as a gift to one of his drivers, John Cormack, in the early 1920s.
Cormack was shot in the leg and hand at the Red Cow in Dublin in 1921 but a De Vere’s spokesperson explained that the exact date of when the cane was gifted to him "unknown".
Once Collins gifted Cormack the rosewood stick, it had remained in his family ever since.
Rory Guthrie of De Veres said: "There has been huge interest nationally in the cane since we announced that it was being auctioned due to his historic connections and value.
"The buyer was determined to purchase the piece. It’s a piece of history and had never come to auction before.
"It was difficult to know how much the cane would sell for but Collins’ items do always garner a lot of interest and this piece certainly had numerous interested parties who had a huge interest in it."
County Cork’s Lord Mayor Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan, had urged senior Cork County Council officials to buy the cane and put it on display at the Michael Collins House museum, given Collins' links to the county, but to no avail.