Canes From around 1550 to 1930, canes were a dressing accessory without which a lady or gentleman, properly dressed, would never leave the house. However their use went out of fashion after this, leaving the market to collectors. For a collector, the main interest lies in the handle, which could be made of wood, bamboo, ebony, ivory, tusk, animal horn, or bone. Sometimes they were made out of porcelain, Bakelite, gold, silver, or glass; enameled or cloisonnéd; or sprinkled with precious gemstones. The height of good taste was a gold handle with minmal decoration, as silver handles were despised by the wealthier classes. However silver handled canes have survived in large numbers, and exhibit a wide variety of decorative treatment, from the comparatively plain, armorial or regimental style to the more flamboyant excesses of Art Nouveau. Carved handles can be found depicting grotesque animal or human forms, and are highly prized nowadays. Also keenly sought are multi-purpose canes, with a concealed spirit flask, tobacco pipe or even a tiny fire-arm for personal safety.
An ivory 'three friends' wrist rest, 19th century, naturalistically carved in the form of a hollowed section of a pine trunk, the gnarled convex surface with a branch of pine needles, flowering prunus and bamboo canes in high relief extending over
A late Victorian silver, ivory and malacca cane walking stick, the approximate T-form ivory handle with decorative embossed silver cap ends and fitting to the tapered malacca shaft, engraved 'W.S.' reputedly a presentation upon the achievement of b
A 19th century ivory cane, with a faceted foliate engraved binchbeck mount to the top, above two holes for a cord strap, metal mount to the tip, (natural age hairlines to the ivory, wear and dents to the pinchbeck mount), 94 cm wide
A fine antique whale bone walking cane, 19th century, the heavy cane with a spiral twist relief carved motif to the length with a crossed hatched upper section to a brass ferrule, the handle of turned whale tooth and having a compressed spherical screw top
A German Art Nouveau silver mounted Guiana Snakewood walking cane, circa 1900, the 800 silver handle depicting a recumbent mermaid supported by waves, the tapered shaft with silver ferrule, probably made in Schwabisch Germany, approximate weight of handle
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