Whether you see a cane as a necessary part of life or a thing of beauty, canes have a long, rich history. Walking canes, also called walking sticks, have been a part of the human culture as far back as human history goes. Here are five interesting facts you may not have previously known about the cane.
- Hidden compartments – Many canes were used to hide valuable or practical items. They have held perfume, money, precious stones, and in the case of the French military – doctor’s supplies such as a lancet, gauze, and glass vials.
- Gadgets – One class of cane is described this way because of the dual purpose it serves. Not only could a gadget cane be used to help with mobility, it would also have some other function, such as housing a weapon like a dagger or sword, a compass, or even a billiard cue!
- Fit for kings – In many cultures, canes and scepters have often been seen as signs of wealth, prestige and even royalty. King Tutankhamun’s tomb housed 130 walking sticks, and a depiction of the king and his queen on a small box also found within the tomb showed him leaning on a cane.
- Collectible – There is a rather large collectible market for antique walking sticks, from auctions to the annual Canemania International Cane Collector’s Conference. When a cane is very unusual or has a proven history, it can fetch a handsome price, just as the cane which once belonged to the magician known as “Cardini,” Richard Valentine Pitchford, did in 2013, selling for $11,000 at Potter & Potter Auctions.
- A diverse community – Although some see using a cane as just part of their daily life, there is a rich community of cane-lovers online and across the world, holding meetings in clubs and sharing online discussions. Joining in can be a great way to share your love of the cane with like-minded individuals.
Throughout history, canes have been used to help the able-bodied and the infirm as status symbols and storage compartments the world over.
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