INSCRIPTION: Carved on shaft: “M. Stover/Tanner & Currier/ BOT CT VA 1822”.
FORM: Among the many forms of vernacular folk art, carved canes and walking sticks can be appreciated for both their beauty and their usefulness. In the nineteenth century a cane or walking stick was a fashion accessory and much was written about the proper and graceful use of the cane or umbrella while walking in public. The history of the cane and the staff goes back to biblical times, and over the years canes have been used as religious and magical symbols, and as signs of authority or power. Carvers of folk art examples brought whimsy and thoughtfulness to their work, often producing detailed carvings; incised drawings; messages commemorating events, places, and people; and figures or animals forming the handles, or climbing, encircling, or entwining the shaft. See “Canes & Walking Sticks,” The Ames Gallery website; online: http://www.amesgallery.com/FolkArtPages/Canes.html (accessed 22 June 2017).