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Last evening I/we were watching a recorded Antique Roadshow program on PBS and I always take notice when Ken Farmer, one of my favorites, is the appraiser. But when the guest showed his cane, I really sat up and took notice.

Here's the accompanying article which I found on-line, copied/pasted here:

Almost 100 years after his death, the canes that Lake Orion resident Mike Cribbins carved in his free time are worth between $1,000 and $20,000. Last week, PBS series "Antiques Roadshow" featured a cane carved by Cribbins, who was born in 1837 and died in 1917. Recipients of Cribbins' work are believed to have included Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Cribbins also is featured in the "Encyclopedia of American Folk Art."

Ken Farmer, who has been an appraiser for "Antiques Roadshow" for 16 years, said he has seen other examples of Cribbins' work, nicknamed the "Mike Orion Cane."

The particular cane featured on the show was valued at $6,000. "He (carved) a lot related to the Grand Army of the Republic, and he did folk art," said Farmer in a phone interview with The Oakland Press from his Virginia office.

Farmer said he doesn't think Cribbins had a business making canes. "I would say he just did them and sold them to people. He would carve hands and carve peoples' names. The deeper the carving and the more three-dimensional it is, the more interesting it is to the collector," Farmer said.

"I think they're pretty rare. The thing that's rare is the incredible quality of some of them."

A distinguishing feature of many of Cribbins' canes are the words "ORION WAR of 1861, CO. A7." It is believed the date 1861 is in reference to service in the Seventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company A during the Civil War.

Many of his canes are made out of diamond willow, and caps at the end of the cane are made of lead.

Farmer said he determines the worth of the items featured on the show by discussing with other experts and focusing on the detail, rather than the age, of the item.

So my point of showing/posting this here today?

A) That cane was formerly a diamond willow stick, of some interest to some of us here. :cool:

B) That man used his carving skills to not just decorate the knob or head but all the way down the shank.

C) They have now been appraised by experts for THOUSANDS.

D) Carvers? Get busy!



ps - Ken mentioned and showed how the carver used the natural openings in the Diamond Willow shank at features, the face, the hand, etc. Further, I/we grew up in Michigan, just a few miles from Lake Orion. I wonder if I could find some Diamond Willow there. Hmmmm.


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