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Staffordshire village constable's 19th Century truncheon sold

The truncheon which was found in the 1960s Image copyright Hansons
Image caption The "decorated tipstaff" was found when Church Farm, near Lichfield, was demolished

A 19th Century truncheon believed to have been used as an "object of authority" by a Staffordshire village constable has sold for £260 at auction.

The 213-year-old item was found when a farm, near Lichfield, was demolished in the 1960s, said Hansons Auctioneers.

The "rare" 17cm (7ins) item was used as a ceremonial object before larger truncheons were used by police forces.

It went under the hammer at Hansons' Coins, Medals and Militaria Auction in Etwall, Derbyshire.

Auctioneers corrected their original guide price of £200 to £300, to £50.

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Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said he believed the constable's staff, decorated with a crown carrying the insignia of George III, was in good condition because it was likely to have been in the property's thatched roof for 150 years.

"Larger truncheons, as we know them today, came in with the passing of the County Police Act in 1839, which enabled a Justice of the Peace to form police forces within their counties for the preservation of the order and the protection of their inhabitants," he said.

"The very early truncheons, from Brighton and Doncaster, were decorated with bright gilt and enamel on a black ground, with Victorian arms within a garter and inscriptions. Truncheons of the Victorian period were often 15 to 18 inches long."

He said the item would now be treasured by a collector.

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