On The Square

Get a Handle on Kimball Sterlings Antique Cane Auction

By Jessica Helen Weinberg

Mar 12,2017 | 18:00 EDT

The psychology behind walking sticks, canes and royal scepters have evolved along side cultural ideals of status, leadership, protection, and even religious rank. Beginning with ancient shepherds who commanded their lands using an Ox bow, all the way through the thrones of Egypt and Europe, past the dandified Dukes and on to Modernity!

Now through March 18th, Kimball Sterling Auctioneers and Appraisers, presents their much anticipated and internationally attended, March Antique Cane Auction, exclusively on Bidsquare! Known as experts in the field, this catalog will feature dress canes, gadget and folk art pieces from various collections throughout the United States and Europe. 

Although, the symbolism has since been abstracted, blurring the lines between a baller fashion statement and the bourgeois, there is still something about wearing a cane that demands respect. We've taken quite a liking to the idea of outfitting ourselves with these stylish sticks (with or without the medical necessity) and went ahead pairing big names with a cane game to match. 

Left to Right: Prince, Lovesexy promo with  Alphabet St. Cane," 1988; Lot 128. Silver Plated Mildly Erotic Cane, Ca. 1900 

If this silver plated, female figure belonged in any palm, it would have been handled perfectly in Princes. The recently and dearly departed pop icon sported canes in his one-of-a-kind wardrobe since the 1990s and would later stir up controversy as he aged by showing up on the red carpet and award stages using a cane. Nobody ever knew if he truly needed it, but then again, you dont question the style of a man who changed his name into a transcendent symbol of love.

Left to Right: Lot 169, Gold Dress Cane, The gold-filled ornate handle of “Dr. Whwunder,” Ca. 1890Notorious B.I.G. 1997, Photograph from “Out of Mind.”

Not convinced that canes are cool yet? How about now? The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls is ranked as one of the greatest and most influential rap artist of all time. His gilded accessory is clearly a symbol of his silver tongue status and reiterates the culturally ingrained ideals that comes along with toting around a cane. Often seen sporting a gold cane, you could bet your bottom dollar, that trying to earn the right to don one in his crew would have resulted in a heavy weight, microphone, megadrop. 

Left to Right: Lot 25, Porcelain Indoor Cane, Ca. 1900; Iris Apfel, INC International Concepts

Now that you're hooked we thought it would be a good time to seal the fashion deal. Amongst her professional titles as a businesswomen and interior designer, Iris Apfel is a certified Style Icon. Well into her 90s, age certainly doesnt define her boundless creativity, however, at this point a cane might help to hold her up underneath the dozens of clunky, plastic bangles and enormous turquoise stone necklaces. 

Left to Right: Johnny Depp, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, 2005; Lot 117, Decorative Silver and Defense Day Cane, Ca. 1880

For those looking to get sucked down a wormhole of imagination, there are several options for you. Channel the likes of Johnny Depps psychodelic rendition of Willy Wonka with the distinctive spiral design, as seen in Lot 117, Decorative Silver and Defense Day Cane

Left to Right: Lot 16, Silver Scarf Holder Cane, 1890; Leonardo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby, 2013

A strapping lad, buttoned up like a sharp, 1920s gentleman certainly is a refreshing break from ripped jeans and flannel. This particular cane, designed to display a knotted scarf is a double win. An accessory for your accessory, could it get any classier than that?

Can-e you dig it? See which cane identifies best with your style: Click here to view the full Kimball Sterling, March Antique Cane Auction, Timed Sale , March 03 -March 18th