EDMONTON — An old felt top hat that’s been sitting on a shelf in an Edmonton antique store for 12 years is soon heading back to the museum in Quebec where it was stolen 42 years ago.
Store owner Clinton Beck tells CTV Edmonton a fellow walked in and offered him the hat, telling him it was rumoured to have once belonged to Sir John A. Macdonald.
Beck didn’t buy the story, but he did buy the hat for $60.
Recently, one of his appraisers found a serial number hidden on the inside of the hat,
After dozens of phone calls, they finally figured out it belonged to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.
The museum says there’s no proof the hat ever belonged to the former prime minister, but it was definitely made in London sometime between 1850 and 1870 — and Macdonald had been there before being appointed as Canada’s first prime minister in 1867.
“I think it was a school group,” says Beck. “It was on a display and some teenager probably grabbed it and stuck it inside his duffel bag and walked out with it.”
The hat will be returned to the museum in Gatineau sometime in the next few days.