A comprehensive study of walking canes from around the world, dating from the distant past to the modern day. 


A comprehensive study of walking canes from around the world, dating from the distant past to the modern day. This book presents a historical context on both practical and ceremonial usage. Specially shot pictures showcase the celebrated A&D Collection of canes, alongside enlightening prose elucidating the cane’s enduring relevance to society.

More than just a mobility aid, the cane has held numerous offices of significance. From the staff of the legendary Monkey King in the classic Chinese Journey to the West, or the stylised crosiers carried by high-ranking prelates from the Roman Catholic church, to the truncheon wielded by Mr Punch in puppet shows, canes are embedded in the culture of almost every country around the globe. Roving the map with one hand and thumbing through history books with the other, A Visual History of Walking Sticks and Canes seeks to introduce the collector to the diverse wealth of canes and entertain the casual reader.

Intermingled with over 800 full-colour pictures are descriptions of gadget canes for tradesmen, squirting canes for pranksters and glamorous Art Nouveau canes for the dapper gentlemen of the 1920s. Informative and meticulously researched, this book paves an accessible route into a niche subject while paying homage to our ongoing relationship with canes. This story stretches back as far as history itself.

A simple guide to the book

Navigational Aid to Entries
Foreword by Dominic Strickland
The Dandy A Poem by Deanna Moss
Introduction A Short History of the Walking Stick

CHAPTER 1 – The Jewels in the Crown: Highlights from the A&D Collection
CHAPTER 2 – Cane Classifications
CHAPTER 3 – Cane Handle Motifs
CHAPTER 4 – The Anatomy of the Cane
CHAPTER 5 – From the Dawn of Time to 20th Century Sophistication
CHAPTER 6 – The Umbrella and the Parasol
CHAPTER 7 – Contemporary Walking Canes – Alive and Popular Today
CHAPTER 8 – Materials and Techniques
Notes on Source Material
When the Cane Was King – A Poem by Deanna Moss

CHAPTER 1 – The Jewels in the Crown: Highlights from the A&D Collection

Canes with Provenance
The Stanhope
Boston Post Canes
John Francis Crook, Conductor and Composer
Submarine Telegraph Cable Canes
The Brooks, Summer Affair
The Yalta Conference Cane
Presentation Walking Canes
– Inverythan Rail Accident
– Commemorative Canes
– A Memorial Cane for Wladislaw Spiridion Kliszczewski

CHAPTER 2 – Cane Classifications

Country Canes
– The Shooting Stick
Court and City Canes
Professional Canes
– A rat catcher’s cane
– The Architects Cane
– Funeral Directors Cane
Medical Canes
– Ear Trumpet Canes
– Phrenology Canes
– The Blind Cane
Map Canes
Vesta Canes
Camera Canes
Cheroot Canon Canes
The Greek Wood Olivewood Cane
Spanish Makhila Cane
Watch Canes
Squirter Canes
Defence Canes
– Sword Canes
– Blades and Shafts
– Gun Canes
– Gadget Defence Canes
Decorative, Dress and Fashion Canes
System and Gadget Canes
Torch Canes
Automaton Canes
Glove Holding Canes
Golf or Sunday Canes
Musical Canes
Writing and Drawing Canes
– The Writers Cane
– Pencil Canes
– Student and Children’s Gadget Canes
Folk Art, or Art Popular, Canes
– Folk Art walking canes with Black Forest attribution
Cultural Character Canes
Children’s Umbrellas and Canes for Little People
Salesman’s Samples

CHAPTER 3 Cane Handle Motifs

Mythological Creatures
– The Serpent
– The Lion and the Snake
– The Snake and the Vulture
– Mythological Beings
Creatures of the Forest and Savanna
– Big Cats
– Elephants
– Bears
– Monkeys and Apes
Creatures of – The Earth, Sea and Sky
– Camels
– Farm Animals
– Pigs, Warthogs and Boars
– Horses
– Dogs
– Cats
– Aquatic Life
– Insects
– Frogs and Toads
– Snakes
– Birds
– Parrots
– Owls
Fictional Characters
The Erotic, or Risqué, Cane
Bells and Whistles
Politics, War and the Monarchy
– Famous Historical Characters
– Subversive and Political Canes
– First World War Canes
– Prisoner of War Canes
– The Boer War Canes
– Personal Treasures: WWI and WWII Trench Art
– Second World War Canes
– The Yalta Conference Cane

CHAPTER 4 – The Anatomy of the Cane
The Evolution of the Cane Handle – Handle styles
A Guide to Handle Types and Shapes
Walking Cane Shafts
Collar or Band

CHAPTER 5 – From The Dawn Of Time to 20th Century Sophistication

A Retrospective View from Hunter-Gathers to the Birth of Nations
Early Man and the Primitive Use of Wooden Tools
– Digging Sticks
– Wooden Spears
Ancient Societies, City-States and Empires
Ancient Egypt
– Tutankhamun’s Walking Stick
Ancient Greece
– Staff of Asclepius
Ancient Rome
The Far Eastern Cultures
– Ancient China and the Monkey Pole
– Early Japan and the Bo Staff
– Weapons of Southeast Asian
– Weapons of Silat
– Tongkat
Pilgrims and The Crusade
– Pilgrim Staffs
– Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe
– The Crusades
Symbolic Pageantry into the Middle Ages – The Status Emblem
– The Sceptre
– The Crosier or bishop’s staff
– The Guilds of York
– Guild Identity in Europe
– The Guild of Freemasons
– The Medieval quarterstaff
– Symbolic Pageantry
The Age of Elegance in Europe
The Walking Cane during the 16th and 17th Centuries
– Puritan Canes
Walking Canes during the 17th and 18th centuries
– The Fashion of the Lofty Cane
Walking Canes in the 18th Century
– The French Revolution
– Les Incroyables
The Dandy and the British the Age of Elegance
– Beau Brummell and early British Dandyism
– The Quaintrelle
French Protestants in London in the 17th and the early 18th Century
– The Piqué Cane
– The Carriage Cane
– Examples of Piqué Canes from the A&D Collection
– The Physician’s Piqué Cane with Pomander
– French Piqué Canes
– English Silver Handled Canes
Great Innovators of 1920s Fashion
– Paul Iribe – the Fashion Illustrator
– Coco Chanel
– The Female Dandy
– The Makers of 1920
The Art of Strolling and Luxury Shopping in 18th Century England
– London and Paris
– The Sedan Chair
– The Royal Parks
– The Reality of London in the 18th Century
– Law and Disorder
Memento Mori
– The Art of Dying
– Memento Mori Walking Stick
– Memento Mori in the Victorian Era
– Timepieces
– Memento Mori in Medieval and Victorian Europe
– The Skull and Crossbones
– Death and Photography
– The Skull Cane
The New World: America
– Cane’s in 17th Century America
– American Traditions
Oriental Trade: China, Japan and India
– France and Japan
– Indian Silver and Ivory
– Chinese Silver
The Art Nouveau Cane, 1880 – 1915
– A Guide to Social Correctness
– Travelling in the 20th Century
The Art Déco Cane, 1910 – 1939
– The Birth of Modern or Style Moderne
– The 1920s Emerges from its Chrysalis
– Art Deco Interchangeable Cane Handles
– Art Deco Characteristics
The Structure of Art Deco
– Materials
– Plastics
– 1925 Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts
– The Egyptian Revival

CHAPTER 6: The Umbrella and the Parasol

Ancient China
Middle East
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Ancient India and Burma
The Umbrella Comes to Europe
Parasols and Umbrellas in 19th Century London
The Ultimate Gadget Cane, 1900 to 1924
Umbrellas and Parasols before 1900

CHAPTER 7: Contemporary Walking Canes – Alive and Popular Today

The Country Cane Today
Fashion Canes Today
– Alexander McQueen
– Alexandra Sojfer, Paris
– Boris Palatnik, USA
– Cleofe Finati, Italy
– Cavagnini Peltro, Italy
– Il Marchesato Italy
The World of Fashion

CHAPTER 8: Cane Handles, Common and Uncommon Materials

Identifying Common Tree Species for Walking Canes
Materials used from Nature
Precious Stones
Metals and Techniques
Synthetic Materials


Notes on Source Material


When the Cane Was King – A Poem by Deanna Moss