Jewelry created by Haida artists, worth thousands, stolen from window display

Thieves broke a window at Lunds Auctioneers and Appraisers Ltd. on Fort Street Monday morning and stole a pair of earrings by the late Haida artist Bill Reid and a brooch his grandfather Charles Gladstone.

Thomas Stark, curator of the Out of the Mist Gallery in Victoria, said he consigned the items to Lunds for auction next week. They were valued at $8,000 to $12,000.

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“This is really early stuff,” Stark said. “It’s pre-1958 and not cast or anything. These are actually handmade.”

Stark said he’s alerted other galleries in hopes of recovering the rare items. He doesn’t believe it would be easy to sell the jewelry given its unique history.

“The earrings are hand-engraved,” he said. “There’s not another set around.”

Thieves left behind a much larger “Killer Whale” piece by Bill Reid in bronze with jadeite patina that will go up for auction at Lunds on Feb. 11. The piece is valued at $25,000 to $50,000.

Lunds’ president Peter Boyle said the business has a strict confidentiality policy and never releases the names of buyers and sellers. But he confirmed that a theft occurred at about 5:30 a.m. and praised Victoria police for their prompt response.

“I will say that the police were around here reasonably quickly,” he said.

Anyone with information on the theft or the whereabouts of the stolen items is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the Victoria police department’s non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.

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