People collect all sorts of things be it buttons, napkins, spoons, antiques, cars…… So collecting walking sticks is not unusual, and in the long term may prove to be a good investment if the right sticks have been bought.
No one can say you must only collect a certain type of walking stick, after all a collection is a personal choice. However, to make collecting a little simpler one could start by having the collection based on ‘the unusual.
Wow!!! that is going to be a really big collection of walking sticks. The solution then would be to think a little narrower in your collection objectives.
Ivory / bone
Systems / Gadget Canes
By Date /Historical Period
New and Unusual
By Nation /Maker
Briggs – London
By Precious Metals
“A cane twirled by silent film star Charlie Chaplin in movie Modern Times has been sold for £47,800 ($92,000) to a private US buyer at a London auction”
The price of a walking stick can start at a few pound to thousand of pounds, depending on the age, rarity of the cane, maker etc. In your collection objectives you have to determine what you are willing to pay for a stick and the monetary or aesthetic value, it will add to your collection in the longer term. Like any collection, many low quality canes will hold much less value than one good quality walking stick.
More and more people are collecting walking sticks and once a stick enters a collection it may be decades before it returns to the open market. Hence, good quality sticks are becoming more difficult to find. But depending on what you are looking for, there is sure to be something if you search. With the internet it is a global market for you to investigate.
A good collection can arrive in every price band. However, it is best to obtain a stick that is not totally battered, split or broken unless you are prepared to undertake or pay for the restoration.
Restoration can work out to be very expensive and may not add much value to the stick if common or low value. Some walking sticks are just beyond repair so avoid and keep your money for a walking stick that is in good condition.
However, do not forget old collector’s walking sticks should not be as new. There should be evidence of wear and tear, wear on the shaft, worn or replaced ferrules will show the stick holds a history and not a reproduction.
A good collection is based in part on doing your homework and getting to grips with the differing styles/ periods of walking sticks. For example if you are collecting silver walking sticks learn about silver and hallmarks.If you are collecting ivory canes, work to recognising different types of ivory and the age of ivory. As your knowledge grows you will be able to identify a good original walking cane against a poor and possibly reproduction that has far less value or historical interest to add your collection.
These brief points should help you on your way to collecting walking sticks or any other collection .
So are you ready to start collecting?