Walking canes are designed to provide walking and balance support. Yet vintage canes are also exquisite works of art, featuring amazing head and handle designs. Canes may be made of brass, wood, stainless steel or sterling silver.
Vintage Cane / Walking Stick Buyer’s Guide
Wooden Canes: Wooden canes provide an ideal medium for carving and intricate designs. Solid wood also provides sturdy support and a comfortable grip. However, a wooden cane can’t be adjusted, so it is unable to be customized.
Steel Canes: Steel canes offer more strength and durability than a wooden cane. This is a good choice for heavier people who will be putting a lot of weight on the cane. Steel will also provide more security for users who are negotiating stairs on a regular basis. However, steel canes are among the heaviest, which may lead to user fatigue.
Cane Length: If you don’t get the right length of cane for your height, you will be likely to suffer from lower back and postural problems. If the cane is too high to accommodate your natural hand positioning, you will find it very difficult to control. A cane that is at the right height will act as a complement to your natural stride.
To find the proper cane length, stand on a flat surface with your arms at your sides. Have someone else measure the distance from your wrist bend to the floor. This is the ideal length of your cane.
The Handle: Round handles are typically found on wooden canes and feature a ‘C’ shaped curve. They are best for those with a relatively strong grip.
Derby handles feature n ‘L’ shape that extends back toward the user. Some expensive derby handles are made from pearl or other precious metals. Because the user’s hand sits behind the shaft, the amount of weight that it puts on the cane is reduced.
Offset handles curve away from the shaft in a gooseneck design. This provides the best stability and reduces fatigue on the hand and wrist.
You will find a range of vintage cane/walking sticks on eBay.