Walking stick of Northern Ireland’s first PM James Craig to go under hammer

Walking Stick Of Northern Ireland’s First Pm James Craig To Go Under Hammer
Karl Bennett, managing director of Bloomfield Auctions in east Belfast, with a walking stick belonging to Northern Ireland’s first prime minister, James Craig, which is due to go up for auction next week
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By Rebecca Black, PA

A walking stick once owned by Northern Ireland’s first prime minister is set to go under the hammer in Belfast.

The auction next week also comes after a walking stick which once belonged to republican leader Michael Collins sold for more than £50,000 (€59,000).


Bloomfield Auctions said James Craig’s walking stick was bought by a private collector in England a few years ago for approximately £30.



However, managing director Karl Bennett believes it could sell for between £4,000 and £5,000 at next week’s auction.

It is described as being made from blackthorn wood, and accompanied by a silver collar to commemorate Craig’s first public visit to Lurgan in 1925.


Also up for auction is a medal which was presented by Craig from Spa Golf Links in Co Down, believed to have originated from the 1910s to the early 1920s.

A walking stick owned by Collins was sold for £52,000 by the same auction house.


Mr Bennett said they were delighted to offer significant historical items for sale.

“Our auction house is synonymous with history and exploring the past and these items are no different. It’s amazing to have items with such historical significance to Northern Ireland, especially 100 years on from the country’s formation,” he said.

“The blackthorn walking stick is accompanied by a silver collar emblazoned with the words, ‘presented to the Rt Hon Sir James Craig Bart D.L. on the occasion of his first public visit to Lurgan 1-4-1925′.

“The walking stick would be perfect for someone with a particular interest in history to add to their collection. Similarly, I think museums and some political parties also may be interested in acquiring it.


“Like many of the items we auction here, this walking stick is steeped in history and undoubtedly has a phenomenal story to tell.

Bloomfield Belfast auction
A walking stick that once belonged to Michael Collins (Liam McBurney/PA)

“I’m still in a little bit of shock with the amount that Michael Collins’ cane sold for just a few weeks ago and I do anticipate that Mr Craig’s cane will go for approximately £5,000.”


These items and many others will be available for purchase during an online auction taking place on Tuesday October 19th. For more information, visit the website at www.bloomfieldauctions.co.uk.

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