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In centuries past, well-heeled gentlemen, and ladies too, were seldom seen without a walking stick in hand. Unlike today, canes of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, often boasting handles of precious metals and jewels, served as symbols of wealth, power and social stature. They were much more a fashion accessory than walking aide.
Of course, the dictates of society have changed drastically since then and the fashionable engagements that filled the days of the well-to-do are far less stringent. Today, canes are more utilitarian in nature and are used primarily as an aid for getting around.
They generally lack the attention to aesthetic beauty that once dominated their manufacture. Yet despite their decline on the fashion scene, the walking stick is enjoying an extraordinary resurgence in popularity among collectors who have become fascinated with the history, workmanship and hidden treasures found in them.