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History of Cane 10

The Cane to 16th and 17th centuries

During the sixteenth century in European royal courts, the cane becomes the usual, almost indispensable, complement to the attire of noble people. Canes are richly decorated, with shafts made of ivory, tortoise shell , rock crystal and mother-of-pearl.

In the collection of canes of Henri the eighth, the first canes with system appear. Beautiful sword-canes, can also be found in Germany.

In England, during funerals, official members of the royal court, would break the cane of the deceased and the pieces were thrown in the tomb as a sign of mourning.

It is also during this period that the woman’s cane appears. It is elegant ,made of ebony, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Catherine of Medicis leans on, one as she grows older. It is a grim-looking cane as everything linked with the daughter of the Medicis. She draws cabalistic signs with her cane in the garden of the Hotel de Soissons as she walks down the alleys with the Duke of Guise . She acts with affability with him ,almost with tenderness … but she knows, nevertheless, that her son, Henri the third is plotting the death of the Duke.

The Cane to 17th century

King Louis the thirteenth (1601-1643), who dressed in a more sober fashion, than his father Henri the Fourth, carried a very simple ebony cane, with an ivory knob and no ornament. He felt, that this was less solemn and more sociable, than to welcome people sitting on a throne, and holding a sceptre decorated with the hand of justice.

During his reign, nobles gave up carrying a sword, in favour of the rod, a light hand-held stick, which they used while strolling down the Palais Royal gardens.

It should noted, that this rod was still in a way a weapon: it was hollow as a blowpipe, and used to throw in the direction of the ladies, sugared almonds wrapped in love notes. This turned out to be a dangerous game and was forbidden.

The cane became again, what it was intended for: an elegant accessory.

During the first part of the seventeen century, there is no royal court in particular, which sets the tone in fashion.The British attire, still influenced by the Spanish fashion ,is very austere . Men and women wear simple, dark-coloured clothing. This puritan fashion is exported to the US. The cane has a “milord” knob, either in metal or in ivory which will influence for a long time the American cane.

As of 1660, the Court of Versailles influences fashion , by sending to all major European capitals, human-sized dolls dressed in the latest fashion