Brigg of London
Brigg was the United Kingdom’s most prestigious cane and umbrella retailer in the 19th century, with dependencies in most European capitals. Besides his domestic production, he imported handles from all over and had them mounted in London on canes and umbrellas.
Well known for his elegant accessories and one-of-a-kind canes and umbrellas, M. Cazal was indeed a famous French manufacturer who exhibited at the Great Exhibition and created parasols for Empress Eugenie. He patented a spring mechanism for parasols in France 1839 which are found in most Cazal parasols. Cazal also wrote a book in 1884 entitled, “Umbrellas, Parasols and Walkingsticks.”
A custom English cane maker, now deceased, whose work is often sought after.
Henry Howell & Co. of London
Established in 1832 and said to be the largest manufacturer, importer and exporter in canes in the world, Henry Howell was one of the leading English cane makers, and supplied the specialized trade from his factory at Old St, London, which was 60,000 sq. ft. and employed 550 people. He offered many ivory canes with hippo ivory handles and collaborated quite often with H. C. Meyer of Hamburg. He ceased his activities during the first world war.
In 1890, the British manufacturer Henry Howell & Co. advertised their selection of walking stick ferrules, amongst those was “Ashdown’s Patented India-Rubber ferrules which were both noiseless and non-slipping.”
For further information, please refer to the article under the subheading, Henry Howell Walking Stick Legacy.
A. Schuman was well known for the durability of his canes and the materials he made them from including ivory, silver, gold and exotic woods.
R.F. Simmons Company
R.F. Simmons Company, Attleboro, MA. was founded in 1873 by Robert Fitz Simmons, a chaser who conducted a small shop. Simmons struck up a friendship with Joseph Lyman Sweet who used to drive grain from the Sweet Farm in West Mansfield to Attleboro’s town sales near Simmons’ shop. In 1875 Sweet, Simmons and Edgar L. Hixon formed a partnership, each investing $2,500 in the new business. In 1887 the organization had grown from 8-10 employees to more than 200, with offices in New York and agents in Rio de Janiero, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Berlin, Barcelona and Sydney. Simmons’ best known product was its watch chains, but other items were soon added to its line including chatelaine pins, eyeglass chains, fobs, bracelets and walking stick handles. It was around Simmons’ 40th anniversary that it laid claim to numerous firsts in the industry, among them: First house to issue a chain catalogue—1881, first to stamp goods with the manufacturer’s initials for identification, first to adopt the definite and responsible guarantee of satisfaction to the wearer–1880s, first to use a safety fastener in connection with chains and fobs–in the early 1890s, first to produce a practical lock bracelet–the Marlow in 1899, etc. (See Dorothy T. Rainwater’s American Jewelry Manufacturers for more information on R.F. Simmons.) R.F. Simmons Company was active until 1952.
Unger Brothers made wonderful Art Nouveau silver objects at the turn of the 20th Century with quality that was rivaled only by Tiffany and Company. On P. 339 of Catherine Dike’s La Canne Objet D’Art, an Unger Brothers catalog is displayed showing Art Nouveau silver handles, example below.
TIFFANY & Co.