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Once upon a time, in a more graceful age, a gentleman wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without certain items, including a hat of course but also of equal importance, a walking stick. This had nothing to do with infirmity, though it wasn’t always purely ornamental either. There was a thriving trade in walking sticks of every description, some ingeniously made to conceal all manner of items a gentleman might find useful on his travels.

To get an idea you need look no further than the Kimball M. Sterling company’s auction of an important Beverly Hills walking stick collection, taking place tomorrow. We don’t have room to list all the things hidden in the pieces of this amazing amalgamation of antique sticks and canes, but here’s a sampling: billiard cues, burglar’s tools, cigar cutters, cigarette lighters, coin purses, daggers, dentist’s tools, dice, dominos, drafting tools, drinking cups, fishing poles, flags, flashlights, flasks, flutes, fountain pens, harmonicas, jeweler’s loupes, knives, opera glasses, paintbrushes, perfume atomizers, pipes, pocket watches, scales, slide rules, swords, telescopes, thermometers, umbrellas, whips and whistles.

You can bid online at LiveAuctioneers.com—but not on the ones we have our eye on, please.

—J.P.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Jared Paul Stern