Canes & Walking Sticks

For many people, the mere mention of a cane or walking stick conjures images of crutches used by frail, elderly types to support and steady themselves. But between the mid-16th century and the 1930s, canes were popular, fashionable accessories carried by ladies and gentlemen.

Made from wood, animal horn, bone, or porcelain, they may also be inlaid or topped with precious gemstones. With gorgeous details and an exotic appeal, wooden canes are statement pieces that finish off a look with elegant style.

Antique walking sticks are typically grouped into three categories: folk art canes, city sticks, and gadget (or systems) canes. The most interesting of these is the gadget canes, which stealthily conceal everything from weapons to alcohol, perfume, or specialty equipment like medical supplies or fishing gear.

Whether a 19th-century seat antique cane, which folds out to form a three-legged stool, or Tyrolean walking sticks that may have helped someone trek through the Swiss Alps, antique canes are much more than tools for practical support. Rather, they are collectible trophies offering beautifully crafted windows into past.

Quick Facts

  • An archaeological excavation of the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen unearthed 130 canes and walking sticks dating back to his rule during the 14th century B.C. Tutankhamen had a club foot, calling for the use of the now centuries-old canes
  • In 2004, a handcrafted wooden cane with a carved owl and snake owned by country singing legend Johnny Cash sold for $78,000 at a Sotheby's auction in New York
  • An ornately-carved walking stick used by British master magician Cardini was part of a lot that sold for $11,000 in April 2013 at Pook & Pook Auctions

Recommended Items at Auction

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A GOLD FILLED, IVORY AND PARTRIDGE WOOD DAGGER CANE
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
A GOLD FILLED, IVORY AND PARTRIDGE WOOD DAGGER CANE
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$65017 Bids
A 19TH C. PARTRIDGE WOOD CANE WITH TOLEDO BLADE
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
A 19TH C. PARTRIDGE WOOD CANE WITH TOLEDO BLADE
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $250- $300
$2256 Bids
Cane with snake vertebrate bone (?)
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Cane with snake vertebrate bone (?)
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $80- $150
$456 Bids
Gorham Sterling Silver Mounted Wood Cane and Two Carved Wood Canes
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Gorham Sterling Silver Mounted Wood Cane and Two Carved Wood Canes
by Weschler's
Est: $30- $50
$505 Bids
GOLD HANDLE WALKING STICK
Oct 25, 6:00 PM PDT
GOLD HANDLE WALKING STICK
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$2005 Bids
A WALKING STICK WITH 1795 PAIR CASED FUSEE WATCH
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
A WALKING STICK WITH 1795 PAIR CASED FUSEE WATCH
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$3004 Bids
Early 20th C. Asian Cinnabar & Cloisonne Phoenix Bird Cane
Oct 30, 9:00 AM MST
Early 20th C. Asian Cinnabar & Cloisonne Phoenix Bird Cane
by Fidelity Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
A DECORATED BAMBOO WALKING STICK WITH BLADE C. 1908
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
A DECORATED BAMBOO WALKING STICK WITH BLADE C. 1908
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $300- $400
$1603 Bids
Antique Cane and Stage Coach Whip
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
Antique Cane and Stage Coach Whip
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$603 Bids
Art Nouveau crane with silver handle, German, around 1900
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
Art Nouveau crane with silver handle, German, around 1900
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €140- €250
€1603 Bids
Set 4 TICHE Brass & porcelain walking Sticks
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Set 4 TICHE Brass & porcelain walking Sticks
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $100- $300
$102 Bids
Antique cane with ornate gold filled top
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Antique cane with ornate gold filled top
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $300
$602 Bids
Antique cane with ornate silver top
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
Antique cane with ornate silver top
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $300
$602 Bids
antique cane with horn carved top in bird motif
Oct 18, 2:00 PM PDT
antique cane with horn carved top in bird motif
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $30- $90
$102 Bids
ANTIQUE FRENCH MADE CANE GUN
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE FRENCH MADE CANE GUN
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,400
$5001 Bid
AN EBONY FAUX WORMWOOD CROOK CANE WITH JADE WORMS
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
AN EBONY FAUX WORMWOOD CROOK CANE WITH JADE WORMS
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1501 Bid
Victorian 14K Gold Presentation Milord Cane
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Victorian 14K Gold Presentation Milord Cane
by Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
Two models for an umbrella and a walking stick
Oct 22, 11:00 AM CEST
Two models for an umbrella and a walking stick
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €250- €500
€2401 Bid
three models for canes, France, around 1900, pure Art
Oct 22, 11:00 AM CEST
three models for canes, France, around 1900, pure Art
by Henry's Auktionshaus AG
Est: €450- €900
€4501 Bid
Walking stick with erotic ivory p
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Walking stick with erotic ivory p
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1,2001 Bid
Set 4 TICHE Brass & Ceramic Canes
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Set 4 TICHE Brass & Ceramic Canes
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $20- $200
$11 Bid
A LATE 19TH CENTURY NIELLO SILVER HANDLED WALKING CANE
Oct 21, 10:00 AM BST
A LATE 19TH CENTURY NIELLO SILVER HANDLED WALKING CANE
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £40- £60
£201 Bid
ADOLPHE-FELIX CALS, LADY WITH CANE, OIL ON CANVAS
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
ADOLPHE-FELIX CALS, LADY WITH CANE, OIL ON CANVAS
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Canes & Walking Sticks


Il Ponte Auction House

Il Ponte Auction House

John Nicholsons Fine Art Auctioneer & Valuer

John Nicholsons Fine Art Auctioneer & Valuer

Dirk Soulis Auctions

Dirk Soulis Auctions

Hutchinson Scott Limited

Hutchinson Scott Limited