City canes, used most often by fashionable ladies and gentlemen, often housed such necessities as cigars or cigarettes, snuff boxes, perfume atomizers and bottles, watches, opera glasses, pipes, and even hidden cameras.
Musical canes such as flutes and violins (with a bow hidden inside the shaft) also fall into this category.
Some of the most beautiful of the system canes were those used for more social or fashionable purposes. City canes included those outfitted with mother-of-pearl opera glasses, handsome pocket watches, or a handy umbrella which held obvious appeal on rainy days.
Musical canes also fall into this category and are among the most rare and highly sought after among collectors. The violin cane, in particular, complete with a bow hidden inside the shaft, has fetched prices as high as $25,000 and is in demand among serious collectors. Flute canes and other wind instruments are also popular and in many cases, much more accessible than their stringed counterparts.
1. Dike, Catherine, Cane Curiosa.
2. Monek, Francis, Canes through the Ages.
3. Dike, Catherine, Canes in the United States.
4. M.S. Rau Antiques, LLC, Collecting Antique Walking Sticks, 12/9/99.
5. Frances H. Monek, The Encyclopedia of Collectibles, Canes, Staffs of Many Lives, 1978.