Tag Archives: victorian carved dog head

Victorian Frenchie Carved Dog Head Walking Stick

Many walking stick handle or  pommel head studies of the Georgian & Victorian period have an interesting background. In part, an integral ingredient to understanding the social and industrial development  of Britain

As a dog lover and a collector of dog head walking sticks, I have always admired, sadly never owned the French Bull dog or more commonly addressed as the ‘Frenchie’. A lovely ‘domestic companion’ dog breed.

Sporting Dogs V’s  Domestic Companion Dogs

If you love dogs as a walking stick collector you will love hand carved Victorian dog stick handles . Collectors will likely hold some superb hand carved French Bulldogs and similar Boston Terriers. The  carvings produced  in the Victorian period by  outsourced wood carves and then mounted by walking stick manufacturers.

The most popular dog head study of the later Georgian and early Victorian period was the ‘sporting’ dog . These dogs being the whippets or greyhounds. These dogs used in hunting and racing. This begs the question as to how a domestic companion dog like the French Bulldog became so popular as a walking stick mount.

The answer can be found in historical reference relating to the Industrial Revolution and the core industrial production within towns and cities of England. The link with the French Bulldog is Nottingham and the Lace making industry.

Frenchie  & Lace Making

The toy sized canine, that has DNA links to the bulldog, is suggested to have evolved through good and bad  British breeding. This little, good, compact  ratting dog found  favour with  the lace workers, of Nottingham.

Increased industrialiation throughout Europe aided  the free movement of labour. Many Lace makers emigrated to France to seek a higher income, taking with them, their loving companions, the little Frenchie.

The Opportunity For Stick Makers

It’s not surprising that  this  little breed of dog became popular throughout Europe and America. The  high degree of popularity of the canine, suggest the reasoning why the walking stick makers adopted the Frenchie so readily. The  dog carvings outsourced to wood carvers on piece work basis. On completion   returned to commercial stick manufactures,  to adorn many a walking stick shaft.

YOU WILL LOOK  at that that little Frenchie and Boston Terrier in a different light  the next time you cross paths!

 

 

Victorian carved horn greyhound on bamboo shaft
Victorian Carved Greyhound Walking Stick

For further information on this little dog:

Carved Dog Head
Victorian Carved Wood Boston Terrier /Frenchie Glove Holder Gadget Walking Stick

Information on the French Bulldog as a breed

Collecting Carved Dog Heads

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lace_Market

Displaying A Walking Stick Collection

Early Victorian brass boot walking stick stand
Walking Stick holders arrive in a large range of designs and age

 

Unlike collecting classic cars walking sticks are little easier to store and display. However, that is dependant on how many- get over the thousands and you may need a collection/ display  room or possibly a warehouse!

 

You do not need to be an avid collector of walking sticks to appreciate a good display of attractive walking sticks. The great advantage being that walking sticks make a great display in any size residence.

 

Many people use ceramic pots to store and display walking sticks. This type of display does look good but beware someone, some day, will ram a stick with a metal ferrule down too hard into the pot and crrracckk- there goes the lovely display pot. The solution to this being is to place a rubber ferrule on the base of all the sticks that have metal ferrules.

 

We all have something we dislike in respect to a collection. The author’s  pet hate is scratched walking stick shafts. So when using any pot, be it ceramic or metal try to line inside the container with felt to stop the scratching as you remove the cane.

 

Alternatively, you can get stick sleeves / socks but these can be expensive and generally only arrive in one size. However, you can make your own with a little time and help from a sewing machine.

 

The key point in displaying in pots, is do not throw every walking stick in. This will only result in overcrowding and damage.

 

You can purchase a stick stand be it old and a collectors item or new and made from MDF. The prices again will vary, based on the age, size, material etc. In general stick stands with age are a good investment, as well as a means of storage and display.

 

 

If you do not have a lot of floor space then think about displaying your sticks on the wall. A great project, for the DIY enthusiast. Alternatively, you can buy a wooden gun rack, which does very well with a little tweaking. Just enter wooden gun rack into Google and you will see the potential for that wall stick display.

 

 Have fun in displaying your walking stick collection