Slocan Miners’ Union badge nets $600

It was an extraordinary week on eBay, with several extremely rare items commanding high prices.


It was an extraordinary week on eBay, with several extremely rare items commanding high prices.

• The same seller in Pardeeville, Wisconsin who recently sold a badge from the Loyal Orange Lodge of Slocan City for $271 US turned up two more gems from the same estate.

The first was another badge from the lodge, established in 1897. Although arguably less attractive than the first and perhaps not quite as old, it fetched even more: $293. Of the 11 bids, three were over $238.

Even more significant was a badge from the Slocan City Miners Union, founded in 1899, which fetched $600. The ten bids included five over $400.

On one side, which is red, the badge says “SLOCAN CITY/Miners’ Union/No. 63/W.F. of M./Slocan City/Organized 15th Nov. 1899.”

The other side, which is black, reveals that it once belonged to the union’s vice-president. It has the same words as the other side, but also “In Memoriam” at the top and a shovel, pick, and sledgehammer in a circle.

The ribbon measures about 9″ tall by 2½” wide.

The colourful side was worn to union meetings and the black side to funerals.

Other miners’ union ribbons have also fetched high prices on the rare instances they have appeared at auction.

Last December, one from Rossland sold for $552. Another from New Denver sold for $193 in May of last year. The record price, however, was $760 paid for one from the Boundary ghost town of Phoenix in 2003.

• An original dry-mount photo of the Nelson hockey club of 1903-04 drew 16 bids and sold for $305. The photo, taken by Wadds Brothers, showed the nine team members and two executives posed with a trophy.

The names include: forward L. Steel, point W.H. Deacon and cover point I.G. Robertson (old terms for defencemen), forward Joe Thompson, goalie and captain Harry Bishop, forwards Roy Sharp, C. Baker, A. Guay, and A.A. Perrier, secretary-treasurer J.H. Fox, and manager J.F. Musselman.

The seller was in Idaho, while the buyer was from Nelson.

• A rare piece of election ephemera went for $48.

Printed by the Rossland Miner, the 9″ x 11″ campaign poster for William K. Esling, Conservative candidate for Kootenay West in 1925, bears the hoary slogan “It’s time for a change!”

However, voters evidently agreed, for Esling, a newspaper publisher, defeated incumbent Progressive candidate Levi Humphrey and was re-elected four more times, serving through 1945.

The seller was in Fort Gratiot, Mich.

This story will appear in the November 24 edition of the West Kootenay Advertiser.

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