A PRIVATE collection of walking sticks spanning several centuries and in a range of exquisite designs, will be offered in a special two-part sale at Chiswick Auctions. The first of the sales will take place on June 21, 2016, with interest anticipated from around the globe. The collection was amassed by British private collector Roy Moore, who dedicated two years hunting down the very best examples of their kind, from Europe and the US.
The result is an eye-catching collection of more than 400 walking sticks, each individual, each with a very special element; be it an exquisite porcelain design, or one that contains an extending tape measure for measuring a horse, or one that doubles as a working flute.
Commenting on the sale, William Rouse, Managing Director of Chiswick Auctions said: “We are delighted to offer such a slice of history, so many styles and periods are represented, as well as stunning craftsmanship and ingenuous novelty and functionality. These sticks are of the highest quality and it is rare to have so many from around the globe in one collection.
This sale will be a collector’s delight.”
Known as a Rabologist (a collector of walking sticks), Roy, now deceased, selected only the top sticks and was intrigued by either their beauty, uncanny attention to detail and interesting use of fine materials, such as jade, gold, silver, enamel and porcelain, or their unusual function.
His widow Carol Moore, who is selling the collection, recalls: “The weekly, and sometimes even daily delivery of these canes caused great excitement in Roy’s daily life, the only problem latterly being where to put them all. It would be nice to know that someone else is being offered the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy them as much as Roy has”.
Amongst the highlights is a rare 18th Century gold-topped cane by William Collins, London, from circa 1749. The crown of the gold mushroom-shaped top is chased and engraved with the crest of the Compton of Gloucestershire.
The sides are decorated with a scene from the Commedia del’ Arte: The Doctor Catching His Daughter With A Suitor. It is estimated to fetch £2,800-£4,000.
A rare porcelain cane dating from circa 1815 is beautifully hand-painted with the scene of a courting couple in a woodland setting. It is silver mounted on a brown painted Malacca shaft with neat brass and iron ferrule. The custom-made velvet case has a slip of antique paper with a pen and ink description that says: ‘Marshall Foultcare’, thought to be Jean de Dieu Soult, a French General, Statesman and 1st Duke at Dalmatia – named Marshall of the Empire in 1804. It is estimated at £1,000-£1,500.
A nephrite-handled cane with a grip carved as a serpentine’s head embellished with rubies as eyes is a striking addition to the collection and is estimated at £2,200-£3,000.
Several American folk art canes form part of the collection, with grotesquely carved, but brilliantly detailed handles. They feature a variety of exaggerated heads of characters with enormous bulbous noses and contorted features. They range in estimate from £100 upwards.
Amongst the more unusual walking sticks is a silver and white metal snake opium pipe with a very rare bamboo cane body and silver bowl, which when removed reveals a mouth. It is estimated to fetch £800-£1,600. Another unusual piece is a late 19th century/early 20th century carved wood glove-holder cane designed for when out walking, should the owner wish to place their gloves after taking them off. Carved in the form of a French pug, it is estimated to fetch £200-£400.
There are several Russian enamelled canes in the sale, beautifully detailed and crafted, one is estimated at £1,000-£2,000 and another at £600-£800.
Several dress canes in the sale include a continental porcelain dress cane, modelled in a curving Baroque shape of Minerva. The helmet and body are intricately decorated with scattered flowers on a hard wood shaft. It is estimated to fetch £400-600.
A more luxurious dress cane in the sale is a guilloche enamel dress cane dating from circa 1900. It has a beautiful pale blue guilloche enamel and silver handle, divided into six panels.
Each is decorated with flower swags and tails and a crown that is set with a cabouchon ruby on a snake wood shaft. It is estimated to fetch £800-£1,200.
A striking Tiffany sterling silver-topped rosewood cane, features a cylindrical grip, that is also a pomander. It is estimated at £400-£600.
This extensive sale is the largest of its kind, with unique sticks from around the globe and estimates for all budgets from £100-£5,000.
The catalogue will launch very soon. To register to receive notification when it is live email firstname.lastname@example.org