I spent rather a lot of money on it - almost £450 to be precise. Why? Because it appears to be English and dates from the 17th century - it's well over 400 years old. I have never seen one outside a museum and ones in this condition dating from around 1650 sell at auction for about two or three thousand pounds - on a good day. This one appears to date from between 1550 and 1600, according to Eloy Koldeweij - Christie's Dutch expert on early candlesticks, whose hefty tome I recently bought for a great deal of money too.
Of course, there is always the danger that this one itself could be Dutch, but I don't think so. It is supposed to be sent from Berkshire, England, and has the word 'English' and the number '1590' hand-written on the base, along with some inventory numbers, as if from a museum or private collection. Of course, the words could have been invented by the seller himself, but that would be a bit cheeky - wouldn't it?
I panicked slightly when I saw the seller's email address at the check-out. It includes the word 'dijk' - Dutch for 'dyke', and he is quoting a 7 day waiting time for it to be posted 1st class from Berkshire - somewhat longer than I would have expected. If it arrives from Holland, then I will be giving a lot of thought to sending it straight back to him.
Then again, many proper English sticks ended up in Holland (and vice versa) for reasons already mentioned in previous posts, and if it did turn out to be Dutch, then I think I would at least get my money back. If it does indeed turn out to be English, then I have no idea what it would fetch at auction, and neither have the dealers that I out-bid on it, I dare say. I put £1250 on it as a 'snipe'-bid, just to make sure I got it, so maybe I got off lightly.
So, it is going in my growing collection of early base-metal candlesticks (the youngest is about 1700) and will be gloated over until I take the lot(s) to a London Christie's auction - if and when I can bear to part with them.
Put it this way, there will probably come a time when I cannot afford to keep them anyway, and by that time it will be even rarer - like disposable income.
UPDATE: Now this is creepy, but VERY interesting. Thanks to the wonders of modern, indiscreet technology, I have been able to access private communications between the seller of this stick and a government office, and I now know that he does indeed come from where he says he does. I even have his full postal address. I have not hacked into anything, it's just that the government office he has been dealing with have been careless enough to post up a series of communications on the net in PDF form, and just typing in his email address has lead me straight to them, at the top of the page.
Careful what you say in private communications with government offices!