Walking Stick Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a specific piece of terminology.I'm not sure what you call a cane That's not for practical use but more of a showpiece. You walk with it but it really serves no purpose other than someone seeing it and someone remarking on how cool it is. Is "showpiece" the right word or is it technically labeled as something else
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
I don't know of any specific words. Walking sticks were treated as fashion accessories up until around WWI. I think after the war their popularity faded due to all the wounded soldiers who needed walking aids. They became a sign of infirmity then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I believe Rodney has it correct. A gentleman's walking stick was a fashion accessory that may also help somewhat in balance but was not for medical function. It often featured a decorative handle that was not meant to comfortably lean ones entire weight on, was thin or tapered with a thin tip and was not always cut to proper medical cane size for the person carrying it. Most were left longer than a medical cane needs to be.

A medical cane on the other hand has a comfortable handle that you can lean weight on, is often one thickness down the shaft and is properly cut to the height of the user. However, a medical cane can also be decorative while still performing a medical function.

Walking or hiking staffs are another story all together. They tend to be either shoulder or head height and help in balance, brush clearing on the trail and have no handle to lean ones weight on.

Think of it this way... you can carry a stick or staff but you use a cane.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
After the Renaissance, when it was no longer fashionable to carry a rapier and kill people when settling and argument, a walking stick was a fashion accessory that still offered some protection. I have a beautiful Kit Rae sword cane but I can't carry it anywhere because of concealed weapons laws. And for those of you thinking "who's gonna know?" I also have a concealed carry permit for my handgun that I don't want taken away if I get caught with the sword cane. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
dww2, I agree. A showpiece from the makers point of view is correct if it's something you want viewed as your best work or one of your best pieces. Masterpiece is the term that comes to mind also but masterpiece is a term that gets throw around too easily. To be considered a true masterpiece it not only has to your best work but also one of the best works compared to your peers in your genre of art. I'll be happy enough if someone says my canes or sticks look really nice or even better, if they see one of mine and ask me to make them one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I read Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class a few years ago and it includes a consideration of the meaning of walking sticks as fashion accessories and status markers. Apparently there were also "swagger sticks" that army officers would carry. Last year I stumbled across a fun video about "how to swagger with a walking stick." I can't find it now, but after I watched it I had some fun taking my shorter stick out and about and working on ways to move it in a stylish way, but not too showy. It might be pompous, but it's also fun.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top