Puck Treasures: The 170-year-old hockey stick valued at $3.5 million

Goldin Auctions

Puck Treasures is all about showcasing unique pieces of hockey memorabilia. Have an interesting item? Send us an email at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Hockey sticks have evolved greatly over generations. From the flat blade, to the banana curve, to aluminum shafts to one-piece composite sticks.

If you’d like to own a different kind of hockey stick than we’ve ever seen, behold the “Morse stick,” which is currently up for auction through Goldin Auctions. It’s been dated to be between 150-170 years old and started with a $100,000 bid.

From the item description:

“This offered hockey stick is an artifact that dates to the mid-to-late 19th century, having been narrowed to the timeframe circa 1850s to 1870s and is possibly the oldest known hockey stick in existence.

“With the first recorded hockey game being played in Montreal in 1875, this stick dates as much as 25 years prior that game.”

Owned by Germaine and Gary Morse, the 43-inch stick was kept in in their Vermont home for decades. It was originally discovered by Germaine’s brother, Tony, in his grandmother’s home in 1980. He thought the item could be a conversation piece and gave it to his sister, who put it in an umbrella stand until the couple were contemplating selling their farm.

Goldin Auctions

When Germaine came upon a story about the “Rutherford stick,” which is believed to be from the 1850s and has been valued at $4.25 million, she noticed it looked like the one her brother had given her. She began to research, spoke with experts, including Hockey Hall of Fame curator Phil Pritchard, and had wood analysis and carbon dating done.

“I think we’re just kind of in awe, not really knowing what to think,” Germaine told Vermont Public Radio in April when the couple found out the stick was appraised at $3.5 million. “It’s a wonder that the kids didn’t play with it.”

The Morse’s told Seven Days newspaper that they plan to split the proceeds evenly with Germaine’s brother.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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