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.
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 large and impressive ebony and silver handled Indian presentation walking stick, the tapered handle with repousse traditional figures within scrolling cartouches, presentation inscribed 'Col. Eliott' (Colonel Eliott), the long wide tapered shaft
An Hermes of Paris leather riding crop, 1982 London, with maker's mark for Ra (silver ferrule), the fine plaited leather crop with punched and tooled detailing to the handle, with a sterling silver ferrule and an HermEs Paris stud to knop. Length 75 cm
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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