Our Favorite Collectible Walking Sticks

5 minute read

It's no doubt that one of our favorite categories in the realm of antiques, and undoubtedly one of the most collectible, are rare walking sticks. From systems canes that conceal a secret use inside, to lethal weapon and decorative canes, there is truly a limitless array of choices when it comes to selecting a walking stick.

Before we dive into our favorite types, a little history:

The walking stick, which was initially an indispensable aid for the infirm or a functional tool for shepherds and farm hands, evolved into so much more in the 17th century. During this time, the walking stick became one of the most stylish accessories for men and women alike. In fact, no fashionable individual would have traversed the public arena without a walking stick in hand.

Canes were crafted for a variety of uses. Known as "systems" canes, this specific category of canes conceal a hidden purpose. This horse measuring cane used to measure the size of the large animal in hands. Canes were crafted for a variety of uses. Known as "systems" canes, this specific category of canes conceal a hidden purpose. This horse measuring cane used to measure the size of the large animal in hands.

Now an identifier of style and taste, craftsman tried to keep up with fashionable trends to appeal to the desires of high society. Makers such as Fabergé, who also crafted intricate and highly coveted objet's d'art, took to these new trends and crafted walking sticks to fit the taste of the time. The wearers of these great sticks - the nobility, elite, and aristocracy - meanwhile clamored for the very best and the most ornate and distinguishable.

A systems-type walking stick known as a "scribes" cane that conceals a glass inkwell and other necessities for writing. A systems-type walking stick known as a "scribes" cane that conceals a glass inkwell and other necessities for writing.

Read below to learn more about our favorites:

Decorative Canes

Faberge

Fabergé walking sticks are synonymous with the very best. As a long-time leader in the decorative arts, the roots of Fabergé date back to the 19th century when firm leader, Peter Carl Fabergé, became enamored with the jewel-encrusted, ornate objects from the 18th century. Taking this inspiration, Peter Carl expanded the Fabergé firm to encompass the ultimate level of finery. Their motive became simple: to transform everything into an intricate, stunningly beautiful work of art.

A fab A walking stick crafted by Faberge that is topped with a blue enamel handle adorned with white pearls.

Knowledgeable of the fashionable trend of the walking stick, the Fabergé firm took to crafting those decorative sticks that embodied their ideal: exquisite coloring and decorative techniques. Their sticks display the characteristic, wide range of colored enamel (a technique that the firm itself expanded) along with other adornments such as diamonds and small seed pearls. The result? Canes that were, and remain today, that are undoubtedly the most sumptuous available on the market.

Interested to learn more about Fabergé walking sticks? Click here.

Folk Art

Formally known as art communicated by and created by ingenious cultures where the rules of perspective and proportion are not utilized, the tradition - and reverence - of folk art prevails today. Adapted onto the walking stick, folk art canes are often characterized by long, wooden shafts topped by tribal, primitive, religious, or geographical-specific figures.

30-5150_2 An important folk art cane that is crafted from the wood of a tree that is present on the grounds of Mark Twain's home.

Systems Canes

This type of cane, also known as a “gadget” cane, conceals a hidden purpose, possessing a specific function beyond what the eye can initially see. As a result, and overall reflection, of the technical progress brought on by industrialization, these canes hold specific tools and accessories inside. From games and sunshades, to cigarette dispensers, the range of systems canes is the most far-ranging (and perhaps the most interesting).

30-7050_1 The object of a systems cane is to "do" something - this walking stick opens to reveal a firescreen and sunshade device.

30-7062_1 A systems cane whose shaft reveals a miniature croquet game.

Curious to learn more? Click here to read our latest walking stick catalog that features highlights from our rare and important collection of highly sophisticated systems canes.

Weapons Canes

At first glance, weapons canes appear just like any decorative, functional walking stick. However, they conceal a discreetly hidden weapon inside. Weapons canes include a variety of different types: la diabolique, flicker and sword canes.

30-7280_1 A weapon cane where a tug on the handle reveals a hidden sword, while glasses are held inside the shaft.

Sword canes are an exceptional type of cane as a simple tug of the handle reveals a blade. There are a variety of different blade types that are used for swords cane, from two-sided blades, to coveted blue steel swords.

Click here to view our entire cane collection online

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