Known for their elegance, craftsmanship, history and variety, antique walking canes or antique walking sticks were used in a variety of cultures and are more popular than ever with collectors. A walking stick owned by P.T. Barnum sold for $150,000 in the 1980s. Walking stickings and canes have been used for support and showmanship through the years. You can find a variety of antique walking canes online and at local antique stores.
Determine the Value of a Walking Cane
First, examine the cane from head to toe. Condition is critical to value, so look for nicks, dents and scratches. If the shaft and handle were originally fitted together, the cane will be worth more than one that was pieced together and remade over time. Finally, the more rare the cane, the better. If you know anything about your walking cane that makes it one-of-a-kind, then you're likely to get a better price. Look for engraved names or dates.
Visit websites to search for comparable walking canes. GoAntiques.com and eBay.com both have antique walking canes on their sites that vary in price from about $5 to thousands of dollars. Compare your cane against others that you find online to get a better idea of the going rate for your particular item. In addition, Worthpoint.com has its Worthopedia database, which offers a price guide.
Visit a few antique dealers and ask the experts for their opinion. If you're thinking of selling the stick, make sure you get a few different prices. Local museums might also have experts, depending on the period the antique walking cane was made.
Peruse a variety of sources and talk to a variety of experts to get the most possible information on your antique walking cane.