West Sea Company

20. Canes & Walking Sticks

Prices in U.S. Dollars are in GREEN

 

NOTE: A recent California statute makes it illegal in that state to "possess with the intent to sell" many forms of srimshaw, elephant ivory and other endangered species products, without regard to the age of the object. The exception to this is walrus. Accordingly, the items listed below are not available to California residents. However West Sea Company still maintains its long-time affiliate in the state of Massachusetts where these antique items are currently stored and sold legally. 

 




20.97  WALKING STICK.  1800’s gentleman’s dress cane made up of hundreds of leather discs laminated together on a stiff inner rod.  The handle of this flexible cane is a simple turned pine knob glued to the shaft.  The knob is decoratively inset with a mother-of-pearl disc.  The tip of the cane retains its original brass and iron ferrule.  It measures 34 ½ inches long and is 1 ¼ inches wide on the knob.  Original condition.  89


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20.96  RARE GADGET CANE.  Really nice early 1900’s gentleman’s walking stick with the very unusual feature of having a built-in head light!  This classic crook cane is made of rich rosewood with inserts of silvered brass.  The center piece contains a revolving sleeve with a window which exposes a small electric light.  Revolving the opening turns the light on, while closing the cover, protects the bulb, and turns the light off.   It is powered by 3 AA batteries within the brass body.  This commercially produced cane is marked “GES. GESCH.” with a trademark of a rabbit within a triangle.  The original owner’s name “H.W. FALK” is engraved on the sleeve.  It is complete with its original quality ferrule at the tip.   36 1/4 inches long and 5 inches wide at the crook which is slightly over an inch thick.  The cane itself is very stout and sturdy.   It appears that the brass portion of the shaft may have been covered by a thin wooden veneer.  If so, the veneer is no longer present.  That noted, the cane is in excellent original, and all importantly – “working,” condition.  Circa 1930.  495

“GES. GESCH.” refers to Gesetzlich Geschulzt, meaning “protected,” the German equivalent of a trademark, copyright or patent.  Such markings are often found on German antiques and jewelry.


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20.48 SCRIMSHAW CANE.   Really exceptional mid-19th century American whaleman-made scrimshaw cane constructed entirely of whale tooth ivory, whalebone, silver and baleen.  This stout "going ashore" Captain's walking stick has a large knob in the form of a human fist clutching a baton.  The realistic hand is beautifully carved from a large whale's tooth and has a cuff inlaid with two silver cuff links!  The knob is attached to the thick whalebone shaft by means of a silver pin extending through the arm with a baleen separator.  The shaft was obviously hand-carved, as it is slightly oblong in cross section.  It terminates in its original coin silver ferrule which is decorated with the very detailed emblem of the Grand Army of the Republic -- an eagle atop a wheel bearing 13 stars and crossed swords.   This handsome walking stick measures 33 1/2 inches long.  It is in outstanding original condition showing genuine use but no abuse.  There are no chips, losses, breaks or repairs.  As expected, a couple of very minor age cracks exist in the ivory, quite typical of this medium.  Nice, old untouched surfaces.  Circa 1870.   4900

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.

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20.86  UNIQUE SCRIMSHAW CANE.  Superlative early 1800’s whaleman-made walking stick.  This impressive example of sailor folk art has a large knob turned from a huge sperm whale’s tooth.  It is attached to a gently tapering wooden shaft which terminates in a classic ferrule with iron tip.  The unique, indeed amazing, aspect of this handsome cane is its covering of tightly woven horse hair along its entire length!  The upper portion of the shaft, just below the knob is spirally woven in a helical pattern of thicker caramel color whale baleen.  It meets with a one inch brass collar which gives way to the remainder of the shaft in its remarkable tightly woven black horse hair covering!  This stick measures 32 ¾ inches long overall.   The stout whale ivory knob is 3 ¼ inches long and 1 ½ inches thick.   Excellent original condition throughout, showing expected wear with careful use.   979

 

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.

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20.88  SCRIMSHAW FIST CANE.   World class whaleman’s dress cane made to impress.  This superb example of scrimshaw is composed of whale tooth, whalebone, baleen, mother-of-pearl, abalone shell, tortoise shell and sterling silver – running the gamut of materials prized by whalemen to construct their finest output!  The knob of this cane, carved from a solid piece of whale tooth ivory, is in the form of an anatomically correct fist complete with skin folds and fingernails.  The fist clenches a scroll with a realistic spiral roll pattern on both ends.  Below the fist is an old fashioned cuff and below it is an octagonal connector – all made from the single solid whale tooth.  Moving down the shaft from the connector is a baleen separator above a “fringe” of 8 triangular sections of black baleen.  These are inlaid in each facet of the octagonal cane shaft along with silver discs at their tips.  Further down there are two inlaid diamonds of abalone and two discs of mother-of-pearl on opposite sides of the shaft.  Mimicking the diamond pattern, there are 4 inlays of silver on the opposing sides.  The octagonal shaft ends with a course cross hatching interspersed with 16 more silver inlays.  This gives way to a rounded shaft with fine cross hatching and inlays of 4 of tortoise shell diamonds.  Below that is splendid columnar fluting which is followed by a rope twist carved elongated helix.  There are 6 more inlaid silver discs below the helix.  The remainder of the shaft is cylindrical, gradually tapering to a blunt end.  This spectacular cane measures 36 ¼ inches long overall and 2 inches wide on the scroll.  Outstanding original condition.  There are no chips, cracks, losses or damage.  Just good honest evidence of age.  If one word is used to describe this walking stick it is “exquisite.” 6000

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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20.89  “ROCK” CANE.   One-of-a-kind early walking stick formed of numerous colorful alternating layers of bone, horn, ivory, baleen, Bakelite and perhaps even semi-precious stones.  It consists of nearly 100 layers of material in varying widths and colors sandwiched together over a stout internal rod.   The precision with which the laminations are put together is nothing short of astounding.  Interestingly the bottom of this handsome cane has a long brass ferrule with the tip splayed at an angle from continuous contact with the ground.  Exactly 36 inches tall.  The handle is 1 inch thick at the crook tapering to 3/8 inch in diameter just above the ferrule.  Excellent condition.   A most unusual antique walking stick guaranteed to elicit admiration!  769

 

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20.90  ROPE-CARVED SCRIMSHAW CANE.  Spectacular mid-1800’s whaleman’s dress cane of the highest order.  This impressive example features a shaft composed of a single piece of sperm whale pane bone.  Such bone was prized by scrimshanders for its size, durability and strength.  It features diamond-shape cross hatching on the upper third of the shaft, giving way to a carved separator.  The bottom half of the shaft is beautifully carved with a rope twist design terminating in what looks like a miniature Turk’s head knot.  The remaining 5 ½ inches to the tip is round with a gradual taper.   The knob of this cane is carved from a solid piece of whale tooth ivory beginning with octagonally-faceted connectors above which is a helical spiral knob crowned with a vermillion inlay of mother-of-pearl.   35 inches long overall.  The knob is 1 ¾ inches thick at the widest.  Outstanding original condition.  Antique walking sticks of this caliber almost never come up for sale in today’s marketplace.  5500

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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20.91  RARE AUTOMATON CANE.   Startling 19th century animated French walking stick.  This amazing example of an elite gentleman’s attire was professionally made by the noted Parisian haberdasher, “FRIZON 5. AV. DE L’OPERA” as impressed just below the skull knob on the shaft.  It consists of a meticulously-carved, anatomically correct human skull made of ivory constituting five components:  the skull itself, the jawbone and teeth, the tongue, the connecting shaft or neck and the actuating lever.  A quite complicated brass mechanism is contained within the skull cavity.  This ingenious device causes the jaw to drop when the lever is pressed.  At the same time the red tongue protrudes from the mouth and the lifelike glass eyes roll in their sockets turning from green to red!  The realistic skull knob is mounted on its bamboo shaft which retains its original finish and silver ferrule with iron tip.  The skull itself measures 2 inches tall overall by 1 3/8 inches wide.  The cane shaft is 32 inches long to the tip of the ferrule.   Overall length is 36 ¼ inches.  This cane has seen very little use and absolutely no abuse.   It is in outstanding original condition in all respects.  Certainly the most unusual walking stick we have ever had the pleasure to offer.  5500

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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20.93  NAUTICAL FIST CANE.  Scarce, second half of the 19th century whaleman’s walking stick with a clenched fist knob carved of whale tooth ivory.  The beautifully-sculpted fist is anatomically correct with finger nails, knuckles and joints.  At its wrist is a rope twist carved “cuff” attached to a knurled silver separator.  Another similar separator is one third of the way down the smooth Malacca shaft which terminates in a long brass ferrule with iron tip.  Telling of its early origins the cane is rove through with inlaid eyelets just below the knob to accommodate a thong.   Such a feature was considered “antiquated” by the turn of the 1900’s.  This handsome cane measures just under 36 inches long.  It is in excellent original condition.  The ivory fist has expected age cracks, none of which go through.  The brass ferrule has some insignificant old dents from actual use.   A good example of a classic sailor-made cane at a very reasonable price.  SOLD

Malacca, frequently referred to as the “king of canes," is a species of rattan palm (Calamus Ascipionum) growing on the coast of Sumatra.   These trees have long, slender stems which made them ideal for making walking sticks. The stem is not round, having a ridge or spine running its entire length.   Malacca is strong yet lightweight.  The stem is made up in sections with joints much like bamboo.   In the fashioning of a Malacca walking stick it was necessary to find an example with sufficient length between the joints and a ridge with an appropriate taper.  Sticks meeting this criteria were called “single bark” or “full bark” Malacca and were much prized.   Inferior sticks, called “half bark,” were actually shorter Malacca sections with the joint smoothed down and repainted to match the upper two thirds of the stick.


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20.94  CARVED “ELEPHANT CANE.”  Very unusual and particularly charming walking stick with the handle superbly-carved in the likeness of a bull African elephant complete with ivory tusks and inlaid ivory eyes!  This very hefty solid ebony walking stick is in keeping with the size of the massive beast it portrays.  The extremely stout shaft measures a full inch and three quarters thick below the elephant’s head tapering to one inch thick at the tip.  Along its length the shaft is beautifully decorated with deep carved floral designs, giving way to an intricate diamond pattern which terminates in a lengthy rope-carved twist.   The elephant head handle is realistically fashioned depicting its long trunk, distinctive fan-shaped ears and even decorative cross hatching on the elephant’s back.  35 ½ inches long overall and 3 ¼ inches wide at the widest, in excellent condition, noting a small repaired chip at the tip of the shaft.  As impressive as it is, this ethnic item must certainly have belonged to a person of great importance.  1095 Special PackagingBack to Top

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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20.84   SCRIMSHAW CANE.  Genuine late 19th century gentleman’s walking stick with an ivory handle carved from a walrus tusk.  This stout cane has a “knobby” hardwood shaft, likely made of hickory.  The “L”-shaped ivory handle is connected to the shaft with a brass collar.  The shaft terminates in its original brass ferrule.  The cane measures 35 ½ inches long and is 5 ½ inches wide at the handle.  Very sturdy, still usable condition, noting a small old chip on the open end of the tusk handle.   SOLD

Not available or for sale in California.  Shipped from Massachusetts.


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