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. 

 



5.78 /20.83   HISTORICAL  SPANAM WAR PRESENTATION CANE.  Very rare authentic gentleman’s walking stick dated 1898 with the rare feature of being a functional cannon!  Known as a “cherrot cane” because of its likeness to a cigar of that era, this cane was a presentation piece engraved with the name “Chas W. Test” on one side and the name of the Spanish Naval ship “Reina Mercedes 1898” on the other.  REINA MERCEDES was the flagship of Spanish Naval forces in Cuban waters as the station ship at Santiago de Cuba.  This solid brass cannon is functional with bore and touch hole.  It is mounted atop a brass orb which connects to the collar of the cane with the engraving.  It connects to a lovely tiger stripe hardwood cane which tapers to its original brass and iron ferrule at the bottom.  The brass surfaces are gold plated.    It measures 33 ½ inches long and the shaft is 7/8 inches in diameter at the collar.  The cannon is 4 inches long and has a bore of 5/16 inch diameter. This cannon is functional. The inside the barrel has gunpowder residue. The original 29 inch long hardwood shaft has never been refinished and remains in great condition with its beautiful grain pattern and deep brown tiger striping. The bottom of the shaft retains the original 2 inch long nickel silver and iron tip.  This walking stick is in outstanding, untouched original condition in all respects, noting some wear to the gold plating.  1995

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the battle cruiser REINA MERCEDES was serving as a harbor defense ship at Santiago de Cuba.  On June 3rd a landing party commanded by Lt. Richmond Hobson attempted to run USS MERRIMAC aground in order to block the channel in the shallow water at the harbor entrance.  REINA MERCEDES commended firing with other Spanish ships and shore batteries defending the harbor.  MERRIMAC was sunk and Lieutenant Hobson with his seven men were taken prisoner aboard REINA MERCEDES.

During the remainder of June and into July, U.S. Navy ships continuously bombarded Spanish positions at Santiago de Cuba, damaging REINA MERCEDES on at least eight separate occasions.  Following the destruction of Admiral Cervera's squadron on July 3, 1898, the Spanish scuttled the battered REINA MERCEDES in the channel to prevent U.S. ships from entering.  The Spanish towed her to the mouth of the harbor late in the evening of July 3d.   But her movements were discovered by the American battleships USS TEXAS and MASSACHUSETTS which took REINA MERCEDES under fire.  Their fierce salvos inflicted heavy damage but did not prevent her from sinking at the intended location.  Even so, a chance shot cut her mooring lines allowing her to settle in shallow water out of the main channel  with her upper works still visible.

U.S. Forces overtook the REINA MERCEDES on July 17, 1898 when the Spanish defenses at Santiago de Cuba were surrendered.  The U.S. Navy decided to salvage REINA MERCEDES, assigning the famous salvaging company Merritt & Chapman Co. to raise her.  Work was begun on January 2, 1899 and she was refloated on March 1st.

After extensive repairs the old cruiser was designated as a non-self-propelled receiving ship on December 10. 1902 where she served until 1912. 

This piece obviously belonged to Charles W. Test, someone of importance who must have served aboard the USS TEXAS or the USS MASSACUSETTS.

CAUTION

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4.56/20.01  SCRIMSHAW CANE.   Excellent mid-19th century whaleman’s cane comprised of a beautifully-carved ivory knob with a stout whalebone shaft.  This talented scrimshander’s folk art walking stick has a knob in the form of an anatomically perfect fist holding a ball.  The fist, with early style ruffled cuff, is carved as nicely as we have ever seen, exhibiting detail between the fingers, fingernails and even veins in the back of the hand!  The knob is joined to its shaft with a baleen separator.  The shaft gradually tapers to a tip.  This stick measures 34 5/8 inches long and is 1 1/8 inches wide on the fist.  The whalebone shaft is just shy of 1 inch in diameter at the top, tapering to 3/8 inch at the tip.  Outstanding original condition in all respects having a light age patina.  This is a great cane!  1795


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20.02   NAUTICAL WALKING STICK / WEAPON.  Genuine late 19th century sailor’s walking stick with distinctive marlinspike macramé covering its weighted knob handle.  This handsome going ashore cane features a heavy (lead?) spherical knob meticulously covered with interlaced woven hitching then tightly wrapped line extending 2 ¼ inches downward on the shaft.  Overall the handle is 3 ¼ inches long and the knob itself is 1 1/8 inches in diameter.  The straight slender shaft is made of a rich hardwood exhibiting a great deal of flexibility.  This fact makes it an ideal gentleman's walking stick as well as a protective head knocker with a considerable reach!!  The tip of the cane retains it original brass ferrule which exhibits very little wear.  The shaft is in it original finish with a delightfully variegated craquelure indicative of it age.  35 inches long overall.  A very nice multi-purpose sailor-made cane in excellent original condition.  375 


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20.67


20.67  MATADOR’s CANE.  Genuine carved folk art cane for a Mexican bullfighter! This early 1900’s walking stick has a sculpted handle carved from the horn of a bull!  The meticulously incised polychrome wooden shaft is finely decorated with carved and painted vignettes of Mexican iconography.  The first is the emblem of the eagle and snake, then a turtle.  Next are spiral decorations followed by a matador fighting a bull.  Below are more decorative vignettes followed by yet another bull fighting scene ending in more decorative floral embellishments.  The tip of this cane is original, in its mottled painted surface.  32 ½ inches long by 4 ½ inches wide at the horn handle.  This rare cane is in outstanding original condition in all respects.   WAS 895  NOW!  395


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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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20.88  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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20.91  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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