Holt’s Auctioneers recently sold an exceptionally rare walking stick that was presented to legendary British explorer Frederick Courteney Selous by imperialist politician Cecil J. Rhodes — for ten times its original estimate.
Despite an estimate of just £1,000-1,500 ($1,419-$2,129), the gemsbok-horn walking stick was bought by avid historical gun collector Bill Jones for £15,500 ($21,991) after a fierce bidding war took place during the March auction in London. Based in America, Bill bid for Lot 1080 via the telephone on the day of the auction.
Measuring approximately 35 inches, the pommel with circular silver escutcheon is engraved: “FREDERICK C. SELOUS. A GOOD FRIEND. FROM CECIL J. RHODES. 31ST DECEMBER 1893”
Bill commented that the walking stick would make a great conversation piece at his home in Alabama.
“I first heard about this item when I visited Holt’s Auctioneers’ booth at the Safari Club International Convention in Vegas last January. Selous is the most famous African hunter of all time, so the provenance of this item really captured my imagination. I already own two of Selous’s rifles so adding this walking stick to my collection was a must. I was going to buy it one way or another.
“The walking stick will be on display at both the SCI and Dallas Safari Club Conventions in 2017, where I will exhibit some of my most noteworthy pieces, and I’d be glad to show it to anyone interested.”