A walking stick owned by the great Charles Dickens is receiving strong interest as PFC Auctions' latest sale draws to a close.
There is just over one day left to bid in the auction, with the walking stick currently selling at £3,500 ($5,280). The price will undoubtedly climb tomorrow (May 30), with the stick having attracted nine bids.
The wooden walking cane was owned and used by Charles Dickens while he was gathering inspiration for one of his most famous works, 1838's Oliver Twist. The accompanying letter of provenance, dated November 3, 1899, attests to this:
"My dear Madame: - I send you by ex-to-day the cane once belonging to the late Mr. Charles Dickens and carried by him in London when procuring the matter for his story 'Oliver Twist'," writes Edward Saxton Payson (1842-1932), an American Esperantist, writer and translator.
"As I was connected with the Dickens readings in America the cane was presented to me through Mr. George Dolby his business manager and with whom I was associated in the Tour of the Dolby Concert Co. Of which the great baritone Charles Santley was a member.
"I take great pleasure in sending you the cane and hope it will prove of interest."
Also accompanying the stick is a letter of provenance explaining how the consignor inherited it in 1964.
Collectibles such as this are popular with collectors who wish to gain a wider view of the man behind the legendary novels.
They almost always sell extremely well, with an inkstand used by Dickens auctioning with a 900% increase on estimate in November 2012.
Also starring over at PFC Auctions is a cheque signed by Charles Dickens just two months before the final instalment of Great Expectations was published.