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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I recently purchased this cane at a flea market and wanted to know more about the cane.

From my research I am almost certain this is a cane gifted -to or -from the same Arnold Hague that surveyed Yellowstone in the late 1800s by confirming the street address inscribed being where Arnold Hague lived late in life in Washington D.C.

Is this likely a gift to or from Arnold Hague? I am curious if it was common for the one giving as a gift to have full name and address or the opposite.

There's additional initials WBH.

Also curious what type of wood and if the end is antler.

Thanks!

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Guessing based on the date, I'd say it might well have been a gift to Hague. Possibly from someone (or some institution) with the initials WBH. (Maybe the Wyoming or Washington Bureau of Hxxxxx) Maybe even a relative. I noticed that the woman he married late in life had the initials MBH; could have been a mistake on the part of the engraver.

The wood looks like redwood to me. And the tip looks more like horn than antler based on the streaks of color. Simple way to tell would be to heat a needle to red hot and touch it to a spot on the end. If the smoke smells like burning hair, it's horn. If not, probably antler or maybe ivory.

I'd say it was unusual to have an address inscribed on a cane, but there may have been a purpose. He could have been getting a bit senile and needed something to help him home. Could have been to commemorate moving there. Hard to say, really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Tested and confirmed smelled like burning hair.

Also I found that Arnold had a nephew named William "Billy" Hague. Unsure what his true middle name was but I figure that is as far as my research can go and I will have to settle with a "maybe" answer. Would make sense it was from family as a Christmas gift.

Thanks again for your help.
 
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