Antique Walking Sticks and Stick Collecting...
There are some truly incredible collections out there and some larger than life antiques to learn about.
There are many antiques websites to browse through, for example www.antiques.co.uk
Etsy.com and ebay.com are alos other good places to look.
The most interesting walking sticks were made in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries when it was very fashionable for men to carry a walking cane and some of the sticks were very imaginative indeed. An example is what is known as a system stick (a walking stick that turns into something else or has something incorporated into it). Sword sticks and seat sticks are examples of system sticks, but sticks that have concealed binoculars, pill pots, horse measurers and all sorts can be found when searching for antique walking sticks.
Some antique sticks fetch extraordinary prices and often entire collections are up for sale.
Look at this example from Breedon Antiques
Antique Victorian gentleman’s walking stick sword stick
Superb walking stick, the wood malacca the carved handle ivory the subject the Queen, consider circa 1860, length in total 92cm From the high tensioned steels tip to top of handle 88cm, the grip is superb and balance unmatched and fittings firm, this will make the best of editions to anyone’s collection.
Wikipedia has the following list of different types of walking sticks to give you some idea of different types of sticks there are to find, buy or collect:
an Irish walking stick made from the ash tree.
an Irish walking stick, or shillelagh, made from the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
Devil's walking stick
Made from Hercules plant.
It can fold out into a single-legged seat.
Made from a tropical American vine, also serves as a cane.
Made from Licuala. After the bark was removed with only a piece of glass, the stick was straightened by fire and polished. The fictional Dr. Mortimer owned one of these in The Hound of the Baskervilles. So did Fitzroy Simpson, the main suspect in "The Adventure of Silver Blaze" (1892), whose lead weighted stick was initially assumed to be the murder weapon.
Makila (or makhila)
Basque walking stick or staff, usually made from medlar wood. It often features a gold or silver foot and handle, which may conceal a steel blade. The Makila's elaborate engravings are actually carved into the living wood, then allowed to heal before harvesting.
a rough Scottish walking stick, similar to an Irish shillelagh, with a hooked head.
Asian, made of bamboo, also a riding crop. Such a stick was owned by Charlie Chaplin's character The Tramp.
Malay stick made of rattan palms.
Pointed at the end for slippery surfaces.
Tall stick traditionally carried by Boy Scouts, which has a number of uses in an emergency
Australian Aboriginal walking stick or war club, about one metre in length, sometimes with a stone head affixed with string and beeswax.
Knotty German stick, made from European cornel, also used as a melee weapon by a duellist's second. The spiral groove caused by a parasitic vine was often imitated by its maker if not present.