A carved piece of sugar maple that's been dated to 1830, believed to be the oldest hockey stick still in existence, has topped $50,000 in an EBay auction.
The so-called "Moffatt stick" was put up for auction by current owner Mark Presley, of Berwick, N.S.
Presley has spent the past six years studying the history of the stick, which he bought for $1,000 in 2008 from a local barber shop that displayed it for nearly 30 years.
Using tree ring aging to determine its age, Mt. Allison University provided Presley with scientific evidence that the stick was crafted between 1835-1838. Other evidence traces it back to owners near Pottle Lake and North Sydney, Cape Breton, N.S.
According to documents posted to a website dedicated to the stick — themoffattstick.com — it was made for William "Dilly" Moffatt by his father so he could play hockey on the lake near their North Sydney home. Charlie Moffatt, Dilly's Great-nephew, told Presley during a 2008 visit that both his "father and grandfather had used the stick to play on Pottle's Lake."
Although Presley says he's passionate about the stick and is astounded by its history, Presley is prepared to part with it for the right price.
On the EBay listing, Presley says: "I know there are better settings for the Moffatt stick than in my possession, hence this auction opportunity. The Moffatt stick is simply a wondrous survivor and a cultural treasure, reflective of Canadian heritage."
The Moffatt stick was posted for auction on March 5 with a starting price of $10,000. By Thursday afternoon it had already topped $50,000. Though EBay says the minimum selling price has not yet been met.
The auction is set to close Saturday at 1 p.m. EST.