Cane/Walking stick handles – Tagua nut/vegetable ivory/coquilla nut

The tagua nut is known by several different names, such as rain forest vegetable ivory or simply vegetable ivory. Other names include corozo (also spelled corrozzo), binroji nut (Japanese), steinnuss(German), and coquilla nut. A tagua nut is the fruit of a palm tree which flourishes in tropical rain forests from Paraguay to Panama. The coquilla nut is the fruit of a South American palm, closely related to the coconut palm. It is generally 3-4 in. long, very hard, and of a richly streaked brown color, capable of taking a fine polish. It was often used for small carvings, including cane handles. The close, hard grain and dense structure, similar to that of ivory, gave it the name vegetable ivory.

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Dog head handle made of Coquilla nut.
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Coquilla nut or stained ivory inset into ivory handle, ca. 1860’s.
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Coquilla nut shell with inset ivory chick. Whangee (or pearl) bamboo shaft.

 

 

 

 

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For antique cane and walking stick enthusiasts