Today we're going to talk about Victorian walking sticks, because I said so. I first read about them here, and thought it was a really interesting article with a lot to say about the Victorians not being as prudish as we seem to think. Walking sticks were not only stylish, they also had many hidden functions (depending on what neat gadgets you had in your cane). For example:
This was called the Tolouse-Lautrec cane because it had a flask in it. Whether you're strolling around the park, or beating a lazy servant, you're going to need booze.
A dentist's cane. I'm not so sure about the hygiene standards of this one. I've never needed a tooth fixed so badly that I let a guy pull instruments out of his accessories and go to town before.
A lady's erotic whip-cane. When you want to flog, but don't want everyone to know about it.
This walking stick has both a dulcimer and a flute in it. I can't imagine how many genius compositions were lost because musicians couldn't get home to their dulcimers fast enough.
So, these all had definite, if dubious, uses. Mostly, though, I enjoy looking at the ridiculous, comedy canes. Say what you want about them–I pulled some of these pictures from auction houses, where they all seem to fetch at least $1,000–sometimes way, way more.
This was the picture the article I linked you to provided:
If you pulled on his ponytail in the back, he will squirt water (or any type of liquid, if you're thinking you need acid in the event of a mugging) up to eight feet.
This same goes for this walking stick, which has the added bonus of being erotic. It's difficult to see clearly from the angle, but I believe that is a woman, back-to-back with a man, squirting "pee" at you.
And in case you needed to do some phrenology on the go, you will always have a little guide with you. Especially if you need to bash someone about the head and especially want to damage their combative zone.
This is actually quite crafty–the dog has a spring-loaded mouth so it can hold light objects, like gloves. I have to say, when you've designed your accessories to take care of your accessories, you might have too much time on your hands.
This one is actually my favorite. It's a French magician's cane. Only a handful were made, so it's extremely rare. You slide a knife between the head and the collar (as seen), but small hooks in the head keep it attached to the shaft, catching it just after the knife passes through.
These, of course, must just be reminders of favorite pets. You know. Your elegant city-pigs, your messed up ducks, your squirrels climbing up phalluses.
And just so you're aware, "stick-fighting" was a major sport/hobby. It broadly followed the same rules as fencing, only you got the chance to wallop your opponent with a piece of wood. Sounds like how we keep ourselves entertained in the New England boonies, where I'm originally from. Sherlock Holmes was written as an "expert singlestick player". Guys, if I had a stick that could shoot acid at people, I'd probably be an "expert" singlestick player, too.