Pick up your stick and head out for ‘Canemania 2014’, the ninth international cane conference, to be held from September 10-13 in London.
The four-day stick fest, which has previously been held in the
United States, France and Italy, comes to Kensington's Royal Garden
Hotel for two full days of presentations, talks, special exhibits
and even a meet swap for like-minded dealers and collectors on
September 11 and 12.
Speakers will include dealers, collectors, curators and trade
professionals. In all there are 16 lectures and presentations
planned, ranging from Art Nouveau and Art Deco canes by Swiss
dealer and author Patrick Gutknecht to The Story of System
Swordcanes by John Monek, a collector and owner of Cane
Through the Ages auctions.
Mark Dodgson, secretary general of the British Antique Dealers'
Association, will look at the effects of CITES regulation on
collecting, while Drs Mark Nesbitt and Caroline Cornish will focus
on Kew Gardens' interest in walking canes and the Howell factory
archive collection. There will even be a talk by collector and
dealer Shaun Winfield on the subject of Canes on Film.
Bonhams will help to launch the festivities with a drinks
reception on September 10 in Knighstbridge, where delegates will be
able to register for the whole conference and take in the view for
the auctioneers' single-owner collection being sold on September 24
And on September 13, the conference will round off with a guided
tour of historical Kensington (doubtless accompanied by walking
canes) and a gala dinner at the Ironmongers' Hall in the City of
Dominic Strickland, the specialist cane dealer at Michael German
Antiques of Kensington Church Street, is chairing the conference.
"Antique walking canes have become an interesting and much-admired
collecting field in recent years," he says.
"Their attraction for the collector is obvious. They have
interesting decorative handles that cover every theme and subject
that you can possibly imagine and so often make a connection to an
His business has been dealing in canes for over 30 years, "and
we still come across examples and subjects that we have not seen
A recent discovery was a beautiful gold-handled cane made for an
Italian count, which opened to reveal a vesta and striker,
accompanied with its original bill of sale, from the crown
jewellers Garrard, with details of the further engraving that the
count had specially commissioned on the item.
Tickets are still available.
Following on from Canemania, Bonhams will offer the
S&L collection of sticks on September 24 in Knightsbridge.
Michael Moorcroft, head of silver and objects of vertu at
Bonhams, describes it as "one of the best collections of canes in
private hands in the UK".
"The collectors have been very precise in their selection over
nearly three decades to ensure quality, originality and
authenticity. Seeing them en masse allows the viewer to understand
the collectors' innate sense of taste; the soft sheen of the ivory
and the honey-coloured Malacca shafts," he says.
The rarest cane has a chased gold knop by William Collins
c.1740, with relief decoration after Watteau's depiction of a
comedia dell'arte scene: Pour garder l'honneur d'une
belle. It carries an estimate of £4000-6000.
The collection also contains an impressive selection of late
17th and early 18th century piqué-decorated mushroom knop canes,
the most sought-after canes for any collector, with estimates
ranging from £1000-3500.
The collection will be on view during the registration for
Canemania 2014 alongside the conference's own exhibition
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