Popular for centuries beginning in the 1500s, canes reached the pinnacle of their popularity among western cultures, particularly in Western Europe and North America, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Canes became very popular among the wealthy and well respected in society, such as businessmen, lawyers, and doctors, such as this example. The bone L-shaped grip on this example has been expertly carve with a woman's head on the forward facing point and a skull on the rear, perhaps hinting at the work done by the man it was inscribed to. The bottom of the grip is lightly inscribed "Dr. Edwin Shields". A Dr. Edwin Shields shows up in many Ohio newspapers during the early 1900s. Inside the shaft is a hidden diamond cross section blade measuring 13 1/2 inches, with decorative filed flutes on the spines. There is a small button release to withdraw the blade. The grip is joined to the shaft with a patterned gilt band and the shaft is of a knobby light wood tipped with iron and German silver.
Very good, the grip showing an attractively aged tone with a small chip absent from the woman's nose and some hairline age cracks scattered throughout. The fine blade and the gold band are both bright. The otherwise fine shaft has a few scattered hairline age cracks and minimal handling evidence.
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