A 170-year-old hockey stick, which is believed to be the oldest known hockey stick in existence, has been appraised at a value of $3.5 million. The stick's auction page describes it as "one of the most unique, if not most historic items ever offered" due to the fact that its origins date back as far as the mid-19th century.
The stick itself was initially discovered around 1980, when the latest owner found it in his grandmother's house that he had purchased. It has been dubbed the "Morse Stick" after its owners Gary and Germaine Morse. Curiosity from Germain led to online research and the eventual appraisal, which also led to the stick's timeframe being narrowed to between the 1850s and 1870s.
The auction site uses another incredibly old hockey stick as a reference point for why the price has reached this seven-figure total on this one. A different antique stick, known as "The Rutherford Stick," was sold in 2018 for $2.2 million before being donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto for display.
J.W. "Bill" Fitsell, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario referred to the "Morse Stick" as "unique and most interesting artifact" on the auction's site.
"I have measured, traced, photographed and admired The Morse Stick on two occasions and compared it to other vintage stick," he said. "I find it to be a unique and most interesting artifact that fills the void in 19th century hockey history between shinny, ice polo and ice hockey and would be a valuable acquisition for any series hockey collector or museum curator."
As things currently stand, the old hockey stick has an opening bid of $100,000 with no takers -- though that's probably because, at the end of the day, it's still an ancient stick of wood.