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What is a walking stick?

I think that the image of a nursing care product for walking assistance is strong when it comes to walking sticks.
However, not only in medieval Europe, but also in Japan during the Meiji period, it was once an indispensable item for gentlemen's fashion.

At that time, sticks had various designs in the design and decoration of the handle, and they were more meaningful as accessories than practicality.

In England from the late 18th century to the 19th century, walking sticks were a symbolic item for British gentlemen.
Even now, the image of a tuxedo, top hat, and walking stick as the classic British gentleman's fashion style remains strong.

History of walking sticks

In addition to stick (STICK), there are various English words for canes such as CANE, Wand, STAFF, ROD, POLE, MACE, and SEPTER. There are several types, but they are called differently depending on their length and use (walking aid, farming tool, weapon, symbol of authority, etc.).
A walking stick is a Japanese English word that is a corrupted version of the English word STICK, and refers to a cane that is fashionable and helps with walking.
STICK also has the simple meaning of "stick", so it is often expressed as "WALKING STICK" to clarify the meaning of a cane.

Canes were originally used as practical items such as agricultural tools, weapons, and walking aids.
Various sticks began to appear in the paintings of the gods of ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome, and they were considered sacred and became a symbol of authority, such as being processed from sacred wood.
In Europe, the king used it as a symbol of authority in national ceremonies, and the clergy carried a cane that symbolized their rank, and the ceremonial meaning became stronger.
Gradually, it spread not only to kings but also to nobles as an ornament, and various ornaments came to be used.

For kings and aristocrats, holding a cane, which was not intended as a walking aid, became a symbol of authority in order to assert that ``you can live without any inconvenience even if you have one hand blocked.''
During the 18th century, the industrial revolution brought great development to the British gentlemen, and walking sticks became a fashion item.

In the 20th century, practical fashion became popular, and the custom of carrying walking sticks gradually disappeared as men's status changed to automobiles.

part of the stick

part of the stick

1. Handle The part that holds the cane Also called a grip There are various shapes, materials, and designs

2. Collar A metal fitting used to connect the handle and the shaft. Also called a central ring. Some are engraved with the owner's initials or a message.

3. Shaft This is the support part of the cane.Various types of wood are used.

4. Ferrule A part that reinforces the part that touches the ground.It is also called a ferrule.It is made of metal or buffalo horn.It is a consumable part because it is a part that is easily damaged.Many antique walking sticks are replaced during the process.

various walking sticks

1. Type of handle (grip)

stick handle shape

A. Crook handle A round handle shaped like an umbrella handle Also called round or curved

B. Clutch handle The grip part is T-shaped, and the longer side is in front of you when you grip it. The type with the longer side bent downward is also called a derby handle.

C. Pommel handle A type with a knob-like round projection on the handle.

D. Animal head handle There is a carving of a bird or animal head on the handle. This design is often seen in high-end walking sticks.

2. handle material

Cane handle material

A.Silver Many items in the UK are made of sterling silver (92.5% pure) and often have beautiful silver engravings.

There is a type with the same material as the shaft and a type with different materials joined together.

C. Animal horns, fangs, etc.
This type is made of water buffalo, deer horn, ivory, etc.

There are natural stones such as tiger eye, mother of pearl, copper and brass.

3. Shaft material

The material of the cane shaft
Malacca wisteria

A. Ebony
The tree is native to Southeast Asia and is famous as a material for high-end furniture.
It is a very hard material with a deep black color.
There are also ebonized woods that are colored black like ebony.

B. Ebony (Rosewood)
It is a high-grade material comparable to ebony.
Fresh timber is also called rosewood because some have a rose-like scent.
The material is hard and the color varies from light brown to purple.

C. Bamboo
There are many walking sticks in Europe that use Asian bamboo.
It seems that it was popular because it was light, durable, and had an orientalism.

D. Malacca wisteria
It is a tree that grows wild in the tropics of Malaysia and Indonesia.
It has a bamboo-like joint, but the long internodes are cut and used for sticks.
It is very light and has moderate flexibility.


Most of the antique walking sticks were not made as medical devices for walking assistance like today, and they are not suitable for such usage in terms of strength.
However, there are many beautiful walking sticks with various designs that were born from the request of gentlemen at the time to use something different from others.

Of course, it can still be used as a fashion item to match classic outfits.

Click here for a product list of our antique walking sticks