children’s canes & walking sticks
a fashion statement
Walking sticks and canes were very popular during the Victorian period not only for men and women, but also for children. They were a fashion accessory, and people often had several canes or walking sticks to accent their attire. Walking sticks and canes were a status symbol and represented wealth. This was true even for children. These fanciful accessories were not used to help a child with a disability to walk as much as they were used to show a family’s wealth and power.
Even children’s canes were embellished and decorated with fanciful materials, or they were made from exotic woods. In the photo showing a variety of children’s canes and walking sticks, note that the second cane from the left has a whalebone, opera-shaped handle attached to a wood shaft. The fifth walking stick from the left has a knob- shaped handle of a brass eagle’s claw holding an egg; the cane to the far right has an opera-shaped handle made of horn. The crook handled canes appear to be made of fine exotic wood.
I have been authorized by the estate to sell these children’s canes. The fair-market-value is $125.00 each.
As you can see in this very old photo, the child, who is all dressed up to have his photo taken, is holding a cane. I found this photo, and a few more, in the estate collection of children’s canes. It does help show how important a cane was as a fashion accessory, even for children, during the Victorian era.
I was fortunate to be able to frame two adult “gadget” canes from the mid-1800s - one held a very rare 39 star flag; the other was a Mortician’s walking stick, which encased a measuring ruler that assisted the mortician in measuring the size of a body so that he would be able to make a coffin. I posted pictures and brief stories of these canes on my website: Go to “goods and services” then click on custom framing.
Although 300 adult canes from the estate went to an auctioneer in NY, more were found later. They, too, are available for purchase at fair-market-value.