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Hello all!

I so enjoy working on walking stick and cane handles that I thought I'd join this group. If you have questions regarding silver care, restoration, conservation, or preservation, please feel free to post the question on this forum or contact me directly at [email protected]

This silver and niello cane handle mounted to an ebony shaft came to me for a structural repair. There was a split three-quarters of the way around the handle which made the cane unusable.

The process: I first removed the head from the staff then removed all dents, welded the split, installed brass tubing and a steel rod inside the handle for additional support, reinstalled the pitch and secured the handle to the staff with a sterling pin. I then removed any tarnish while retaining the antique finish before coating the entire cane with Renaissance wax.

niello-cane-handle.jpg
 

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Welcome, and very nice work! Always great to see a craftsman who knows his craft.

Question, were "silver" cane handles mostly lower silver alloys, or does sterling actually made a strong enough handle? Just curious. I've become interested in some of the nickel alloys since I had a money clip made from it and I know it's often added to silver. I was wondering about strength with and without the nickel.

Just asking from pure ignorance.

thanks, and again, welcome
 

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Good morning, friends!

What a nice welcome - thank you.

Sterling has been used for cane handles for centuries. But most silver alloys have been used and used successfully. Alloys finer than .925 aren't practical because they're too soft to stand up to the everyday use of a cane. The cane I worked on was an unfamiliar silver alloy and was very thin. In this case, the handle had to be filled with a cement to avoid collapsing.

Nickel is rarely added to silver. Sterling must contain 92.5% fine silver, but the remaining 7.5% can be any other element. Copper is most commonly used because it "toughens" the fine silver to make it more durable. And regarding money clips, as long as the sterling is hardened, there is no need to add any nickel to the fine silver because it would be much more difficult to fabricate.

I hope this answers your question sufficiently.
 

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Welcome! I picked up a silver cane handle off ebay that needs to be put on a cane. I haven't gotten to it yet though :)
 

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Hello all!

I so enjoy working on walking stick and cane handles that I thought I'd join this group. If you have questions regarding silver care, restoration, conservation, or preservation, please feel free to post the question on this forum or contact me directly at [email protected]

This silver and niello cane handle mounted to an ebony shaft came to me for a structural repair. There was a split three-quarters of the way around the handle which made the cane unusable.

The process: I first removed the head from the staff then removed all dents, welded the split, installed brass tubing and a steel rod inside the handle for additional support, reinstalled the pitch and secured the handle to the staff with a sterling pin. I then removed any tarnish while retaining the antique finish before coating the entire cane with Renaissance wax.

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niello-cane-handle.jpg
I had someone in the silversmith industry try to connect on LinkedIn recently. I declined because I didn't recognize the name. If that was you I apologize.
 
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