Belfast Telegraph

It may match his tan, but antiques expert Dickinson is left baffled by an Orange sash

David Dickinson with the first Orange sash on his show Dickinson's Real Deal
David Dickinson with the first Orange sash on his show Dickinson's Real Deal
Antiques expert James Layte with owner Patricia
A close-up of the sash
The sash sold for £100
Ivan Little

By Ivan Little

TV's most famous 'orange man', permatanned David Dickinson, has come face to face with his first Orange sash in his long-running antiques show.

And the veteran presenter admitted he hadn't a clue about the history of the collarette which also appeared to have foxed the dealer to whom it was offered for sale.

The sash was brought to a session of Dickinson's Real Deal in Liverpool this week by a local woman who didn't know what it was or how it came into her family.

"I don't really understand anything about it or how much it's worth," she said.

Antiques expert James Layte said the silk collarette was "a turn up for the books" and described it as "an Orangeman's marching sash".

Layte dated it between 1890 and 1900 saying it was a "very interesting historical item" which had at some point come from Northern Ireland.

He explained the background to the formation of the Orange Order and said the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 was "the starting point of the Protestant movement".

Layte said the Orange Order were still going strong with marches every summer, but he stressed he didn't how rare a sash like the one in front of him would be.

"I think it's an interesting thing," he went on. "There are collectors of Irish history and I think that this falls into that category."

Layte paid the woman £65 for the sash and Dickinson said: "I have never seen one of these before. It has got a bit of age with it and it is beautifully done.

"I think it is quite a collectible item. Looking at the quality of it and the way it's produced, you couldn't make it for less than a couple of hundred quid, if that."

Holding the Orange sash up to his bronzed face, Dickinson joked: "It's colour co-ordinated really."

During the discussions, there was no mention of where the sash originated. But it clearly had LOL No 315 on it and an internet search revealed that in Northern Ireland the number relates to the Lisbellaw True Blues in Fermanagh.

The Orange Order said, however, that in the late 19th century there was also an LOL No 315 operating in Manchester, meeting in the Hulme area.

Records show that Manchester was the birthplace of the Orange Order in England in 1798 and by the end of the 19th century there were 91 lodges in the city and surrounding towns.

Given the strength of the Orange Order in the north west of England at the time, sources said it was more likely that the sash which featured on the TV programme in Liverpool was from England rather than Ireland.

It's known that there is an active collectors market for Orange regalia here with a number of fairs held throughout the year.

Dozens of items of Orange Order regalia and memorabilia are also regularly sold on the internet.

Antiques dealer Layte later sold the sash he'd bought for £65 for a £35 profit.

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