When people think of an antique cane or walking stick, they picture a feeble old person. However, between 1550 and 1930, canes were an accessory that a proper lady or gentleman would never leave home without one. They were intended to be worn and they were, from Abraham Lincoln to Mahatma Gandhi. They would have been hand-carved out of various species of wood, animal horn, ivory, bamboo, ebony, tusks, or bone, porcelain, gold or silver. Starting in 16th century Europe, canes became an important part of your image, so etiquette regarding walking sticks was established. For example, a gentleman was not to carry his cane under the arm, nor was he to lean on it. It was also bad manners to bring your cane into the presence of an important person like a king, probably because the walking stick might contain a weapon. This example has a solid brass crook handle and has not been restored. The shaft is most likely beech wood, which is also the preferred species for most European dining chairs.