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First up was a selection at the Antony Cribb July 24 arms and armour sale in Oxfordshire, followed by a large selection to be offered at Bellmans in Wisborough Green on August 8.

At Antony Cribb (22% buyer’s premium) 30 walking sticks were offered, many with carved ivory pommels.

Despite the new ivory trade ban to come into force in the autumn, the best-seller was a 2ft 10in (85cm) long malacca cane with an ivory pommel carved half as the face of a person and half as their skull. The late 19th-early 20th century stick, with a silver collar, was given a £120-180 estimate and sold at £2200.

Skull walking cane

A 19th-20th century ivory-pommelled malacca walking cane which sold at £2200 at Antony Cribb.

For those buyers who missed this sale, relax: more than 200 are up for sale next week at Bellmans.

Many of these date back to the 18th century and have been accumulated by a private collector over many years of auction buying and private purchases. 

Among the lots are Black Forest carved handles, a gold mounted snakewood example and a cloisonné enamel hardwood cane with an egg form pommel.

To read more about Antony Cribb’s sale, see Antiques Trade Gazette next week (No: 2353).

The walking canes at Bellmans’ auction can be viewed at the West Sussex saleroom between August 3-7.