16 Jul 2014

My 1929 Silver knob handled walking stick

I have just arrived at home after a refreshing stroll with my dog in the village where we live. Just in time for a restorative drink before dinner; it has been a rather hard day at the office.

A new but already dear companion on my walks is my 1929 silver knob handled walking stick.
I have been searching for a such for a while as it is a very comfortable feeling to walk with a stick in your hand. Sticks such as an umbrella, a sword, a cane etc. - has been ever since I was a boy.
An umbrella is not needed on this fine afternoon; sunny; bit of puffy cumulus.  And my medieval single handed sword is not giving the best impression among the neighbours I gather.

The walking stick is of some kind of lightweight rosewood; very slim and elegant. With a good balance. The balance and the feel to the polished silver and rosewood are very important for the enjoyment of a perfect relaxing stroll.

Lovely - bruised but lovely - silver knob, hallmarked for London 1929.
Slightly creased pinstripe suit (off-the-peg Austin Reed), Green vintage silk untipped Italian made tie, dark brown oxfords, panama hat and the walking stick. The boutonnière flower is a small pink rose from my garden.

...and yes, I have a sprouting moustache which hopefully is looking at it's best for my entering the Copenhagen Tweed Run mid-September.
Some might think that walking sticks do not have relevance in the 21st century, but it really does to me. The sheer feeling is enough, but also the practicableness of a pointing device (mind the cyclists if you are pointing across a busy street in Arnhem is my experience, though); a device for measuring the depth of ponds for ladies or dogs; and a mean of self defence - e.g the noble art of Bartitsu (see below).
It is important that the stick is being used - it is not an object of sheer ostentation. If I only paraded with this to make a show of my self I would rather leave it at a montre at home.

Original brass (?) ferrule is a bit bruised but looks good.

The walking stick is 36½" (approx. 91 cm) long. 

"Take away my high hats
Take away my favorite tie
Take away my white spats
I'll still get by
But my walking stick
You simply must let that be
I mean you can't take that away from me:
Without my walking stick, I'd go insane
Can't look my best, I'd feel undressed without my cane."
from My Walking Stick, song by Irving Berlin


Bartitsu Self defence

From Wikipedia:
Vigny is best-remembered today as the founder of a unique style of stick fighting which employed walking sticks and umbrellas as weapons of self-defence. Aspects of his method were recorded by E.W. Barton-Wright in a series of articles entitled Self Defence with a Walking Stick, published in Pearson's Magazine in 1902.
Barton-Wright's name combined with the ancient art of Jujitsu gave the name: Bartitsu

I discovered a rather useful newspaper article on the subject:
http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/how-to-fight-like-a-victorian-gentleman/281163/#


Pierre Vigny and Edward Barton-Wright demonstrate walking stick combat. (The Bartitsu Society)

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