We have made it through the winter! Today marks the Spring Equinox, a time of year when (roughly speaking) day and night are equal in length – so, happy Vernal Equinox to you all.
Spring makes me want to go on a walk in the country and I like to carry a stick – any old piece of branch I come across really, but for centuries walking sticks were considered an essential part of any man’s kit.
It was quite usual to have several, each designed to fit a particular activity. In fact, the habit only really died out in the 1940s.
Lately there has been a resurgence of interest in vintage and antique sticks and canes and there is a lively collectors’ market with good examples averaging prices of between £500 and £5000 I understand. If you fancy starting a collection you have to realise that there are specialities within this speciality – did you know about the following seven main categories of stick?
- System / Gadget Canes
- Figural Canes in wood, ivory, precious metals etc,
depicting animals, people and a host of subjects
- Early Pique Canes
- Folk Art Walking Sticks
- Decorative Canes
- Sword Sticks
- Umbrellas / Parasols
Here are a few ‘gadget’ canes for your delight.
Containers for coins.
A Dunhill lighter.
A combination compass and sundial.
A swivelling monocular.
A cigarette holder.
And this one, dating from 1997, is a watch.
There are literally hundreds of wonderful designs, clever tricksy novelties and some really beautiful carving in a range of materials. Worth looking out for and if you would like to read a short but informative history of the subject click on the link: http://www.thestickman.co.uk/the_history_of_walking_can.htm