'Michael Collins' walking stick' sells for £52,000

The walking stick reputedly owned by Michael Collins Credit: Bloomfield Auctions

A walking stick reputedly owned by Michael Collins has sold for more five times its estimate at auction.

The phone buyer from the Republic of Ireland purchased the stick for £52,000 plus fees at a sale at Belfast auctioneer Bloomfield, a record for the auction house.

Police files tracking Collins' activities during Ireland's War of Independence also sold for £6800 at the police and military-themed sale.

It was also bought by a phone bidder from the Republic.

The intelligence reports on Collins, who led the IRA's fight against British forces in the War of Independence, were contained in a dossier of Royal Irish Constabulary documents that cover the period 1920 to 1922.

The Collins walking stick, which has a silver collar and tip, was accompanied by a letter of provenance.

Karl Bennett, the managing director of Bloomfield Auctions, said the stick had been estimated to go for potentially £10,000.

"Today saw an auction house record," said.

"We are delighted to see that the Michael Collins stick made an incredulous £52,000 plus fees.

"We are delighted to see it go to someone in the south.

"At this stage we don't know who that is but we're sure it will go to a good home."

The century-old artefacts related to the Irish republican leader were among a series of historical lots that went under the hammer.

Other items included a service medal from the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin complete with its original box.

It sold for £1800.

A gate from inside one of the H blocks in the Troubles-era Maze paramilitary prison sold for £340.

The auction also included two pieces from dining sets, a porcelain cream jug and a spoon, that would have been used by high-ranking Nazis Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels on their personal train carriages during the Second World War.

The jug sold for £1700 and the spoon for £1100, both to private collectors from Northern Ireland.