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.
Antique bone and ivory walking stick, late 19th century, the bone or panbone shaft spiral carved to the lower section, diamond patterns to the mid section, the upper section faceted and inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell, with an ivory turkshead
An antique Cantonese ivory and feather fan, Qing Dynasty, 19th century; feathers later, finely carved and comprising myriad figures, pavilions within traditional gardens embellished with auspicious fruits and foliage, each stick individually relief carved
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
An early 19th century ivory mounted hardwood walking stick, the ivory mount inlaid in studded metal with a floral pattern, the top with a pierced removable cover opening to a small compartment, 91 cm long
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
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