I could only afford to bid $11,700!!

Early Don Messer fiddle sold for $11,750 at Nova Scotia auction
HALIFAX (CP) – A 77-year-old fiddle that was played by Don Messer years before he became a Canadian television icon was sold for $11,750 on Sunday at an auction in Nova Scotia.
The winning bid at the auction in Coldbrook came over the phone from a man in St. Stephen, N.B., who didn’t want to be identified.
The bidder was one of a half-dozen people vying for the fiddle, which Messer bought for $105 in 1930, a year after the instrument was built.
“It felt great, it was wonderful,” auctioneer Blain Henshaw, who also sold another of Messer’s fiddles two years ago, said by phone from Coldbrook.
“When I was a kid, I grew up on Don Messer’s music, I respected his music. And twice now, I’ve had the privilege – and it is a privilege – to sell fiddles that were owned by Don Messer.”
Messer played the auctioned-off fiddle in the 1930s on a radio show in Saint John, N.B. Two decades later, he started hosting the hugely popular CBC-TV program Don Messer’s Jubilee, which ran from 1958 to 1969 and introduced Canadians to his trademark style that he called “way-down East.”
The fiddle that was auctioned Sunday was handed over to the Nova Scotia Archives after Messer died of a heart attack in 1973.
It attracted bids from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Edmonton, and brought in far more than the $7,000 organizers initially predicted.
The starting bid for the fiddle was $2,000, and about five minutes later – a long time as far as auctions go – all but two bidders had bowed out.
A young Nova Scotia man, who was in Coldbrook for the auction but also didn’t want to be identified, put in his final bid of $11,500. The fiddle’s new owner won after offering $250 more.
Sunday’s auction also featured other Messer memorabilia, such as his pocket watch and a native headdress given to him by Alberta’s Stoney Nation.
“Don Messer is revered as a fiddler, and the bidders are people that are big fans of his and they appreciate the history of what this man did for Canadian music,” said Henshaw.
Messer’s daughter, Dawn Messer Attis, decided to sell the fiddle after another of his fiddles sold for $8,000 two years ago. Some of Messer’s 14 fiddles have been given to friends, while Attis has kept one of her father’s favourites.
“His daughter agreed that this was a good time for some of his items to come back to his fans to enjoy some things of his,” said Henshaw.
Before the fiddle was sold, Nova Scotia fiddler Keith Ross gave the 400 people who packed the auction house a demonstration, playing some of Messer’s songs on one of his first instruments.
“I’ve been playing fiddle along time, and he’s one of my fiddling heroes,” said Ross, who also played the fiddle that was sold two years ago. “He was a very, very talented musician, and he invented a new style of playing.”
Ross said he actually preferred playing the first fiddle that was sold, but added that the instrument auctioned over the weekend still has promise – if its new owner decides to try it out.
“It’s been 30 years or more since it’s been played, so it’s going to take some playing to bring it back to where it was.”
It’s not clear when the winning bidder will pick up the fiddle. Until that happens, it will stay at Henshaw’s home in Cole Harbour, N.S.