Published: July 23, 2002
Tradewinds Auctions Dickens Cane for $8,960
DANVERS, MASS. — On July 20 a cane that British novelist Charles Dickens had presented to American novelist James T. Field in 1869 sold for $8,960 during an auction conducted by Tradewinds Auctions.
During Dickens’ 1867 and 1868 visit to America, Field often hosted Dickens at “Thunderbolt Hill,” Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. Field and his wife visited Dickens at “Gad’s Hill Place,” Dickens’ country home, in 1869. There has been speculation the cane was created from a hardwood sapling growing on the Dickens property.
The crook handle cane retained the natural branch stubs, and the surface was ebonized. The cane had a silver panel inscribed, “Charles Dickens / Gad’s Hill / to J.T.F. 1869.” The well-known cane once belonged to the Eastmans of Eastman Kodak.
Winning bidder was dealer Gerard Stodolski of Manchester, N.H. Stodolski is a nationally prominent specialist in historic autographed letters, manuscripts and documents.
Henry Taron, owner and president of Tradewinds Antiques, told correspondent Bob Jackman, “It is a rare rdf_Description with a fine history. Is there another Charles Dickens presentation cane? The cane appreciated nicely since the consignor bought it at our 1997 auction for $2,750. Our estimate of $4,000 to $6,000 was conservative, but it is hard to say where the market will go on such rare rdf_Descriptions. I hope the consignor is happy.”
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