The world of walking sticks & canes is huge. For your initial collection objective make your target sticks as narrow as possible but not un-achievable. This will make life a little easier for you.
Secondly, define an area that there are sticks available and at a price you define, as reasonable.
Whatever area or type of collection, you wish to pursue, then research is essential and time consuming. Without a basic knowledge supporting your purchasing decision, you likely be buying a bogus imitation. Fraudulent imitations are not reproductions as their purpose is to deceive in order to achieve a premium price. This has been prevalent during the latter 20th Century on wards with highly prized ceramics and Georgian tea caddies etc. Ivory snooker/pool balls re-engineered into an exact copy of a Georgian or early Victorian figural pommel.
The internet is possibly the easiest and cheapest source for base level research. There are bucket full’s of material relating to woods, metals, precious metals, precious stones, hallmarks, walking stick makers, metal standards etc. This will aid you in defining the difference between ebony wood and ebonised wood when purchasing a cane.
Hard Copy Desk Research Material
Now, to the nitty gritty, the hard copy material. Reference material does arrive quite readily, but, at a much higher price than a soft backed copy of Mills & Boon. Therefore, do shop around online and offline. Prices do vary and based a lot on availability. Some material only arrives as second hand used copy format, that may be a little tatty, but still information viable.
The suggested texts below will give you a good introduction-choose 1 or 2 to explore as many texts tend to go over the same ground. Boothroyd is a good little text book but try to avoid the 1st Editions as they appear to be very highly priced.
- Canes: From the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century-1998- Jeffrey B Snyder
- Canes &Walking Sticks: A Stroll Through Time & Place- -1993-Jeffrey B, Snyder
- Walking sticks -1998 –ULRICH KLEVER
- Fascinating Walking Sticks – A.E.W. Boothroyd
So time to brew the coffee, switch on the computer and let your fingers jog over the key pad!