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In the history of antiques, a special position is occupied by the XVIII century, the time when the first European samples of dining and tea utensils appeared. And the forerunner…

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MARINE CHRONOMETERS
For people of maritime professions, spending many months away from the earth, the ship becomes a second home. Therefore, all items of ship's life surrounding sailors should be durable, comfortable,…

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18th Century Antiques: Real Works of Art The 18th century is called the gallant century in history: it was at this time that exquisite arts, fashion and entertainment were elevated.…

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A cane and its elegant image. What was the prop?

How would you recommend holding hands while walking if they are not busy with anything? At the seams? Inconveniently! Swing? Firstly, I am not in the ranks, and secondly, I am a woman. In your pockets? It’s somehow very hooligan … Fold on the chest? And if you lose your balance? The problem, as the hero of one film says … I would walk with a cane, live in France at the end of the 18th century – it was there that they appeared as a fashionable women’s accessory. According to Casanova, canes, rather reeds – so thin and graceful they were – served as a support for fashionistas who wore 6-inch heels (recall: inch = 2.54 cm). And if you now demand these fancy wands from fashion, you need to wear hats with feathers or a veil, fan yourself with a fan, put on wide multi-tiered skirts …

I say: problem! Logically speaking, a man needs a cane for support – it means that it is assumed that the person is, to put it mildly, middle-aged. But the paradox is that it was the young people who considered the cane a mandatory element of their appearance. She seemed to be announcing to others that her master was moving from youths to grooms. And another moment: the publication of such equipment was equivalent to the first visit … a brothel. Wow – a symbol of adulthood! No matter how you joke, but by the reed, it turns out that social status was determined. Nobles, for example, didn’t go outside without a cane.

Everything in it mattered: material, form, decoration. So, beech symbolized greatness, oak – strength, boxwood – hardness and courage, cedar – longevity … Although there is somewhere in Russia a collection, and it has a cane from the root … horseradish: thick, strong, they take it for bone. They didn’t skimp on the finish of the knob: sometimes this part of a fortune was worth it! And how the owner’s hand with rich rings looked on it! Often the knobs were made in the shape of the head of an animal, a bird, and precious stones were inserted instead of eyes. A cane could indicate the political orientation of the owner.

For example, after the overthrow of Napoleon, his supporters demonstrated their commitment to him using reeds with ivory knobs: they were cut in such a way that the shadow of them reflected the profile of the emperor. Obviously, the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun knew a lot about the reeds – there were many of them in his tomb. Of course, jewelry was used as jewelry, as well as metal, glass, feathers, sparkling wings of beetles. Walking sticks were often used as diplomatic gifts. They were given to the Pope, F. Castro, R. Reagan … Peter the Great, and it was he who brought the cane to Russia, awarded it to Prince Menshikov for a successful military battle. It was made according to the sketch of the king, the knob is strewn with diamonds and large emeralds. The followers of the cane were, for example, A. Tolstoy, Yesenin, Chaliapin, Mayakovsky …

How could Gilarovsky do without the cane – he had examined such slums! A great admirer of the cane was Prince Potemkin. Voltaire had collections of elegant sticks (as many as 120!), Balzac. After Peter the Great, a large collection remained – with a sword, with a telescope, even with a ruler … Pushkin had a lot of canes. He divided them, like all secular people, into workers, by necessity and just like that. The button of Peter the Great was mounted in one of them. In the picture of Nikolai Ge – Pushkin with one of his favorite canes in Mikhailovsky. Separately, it should be said about Pushkin sports canes. One of them, according to the stories, was flooded with lead and weighed a pound. On walks, he tossed her and caught her: so that her hand would not tremble if she had to go to a duel. It didn’t help …

Now the largest collection of canes and stacks (they pushed the cane a bit with the outbreak of the First World War) has Helmut Bigler from Luxembourg – more than 70 thousand rarities from different countries. At auctions, no, no, yes canes will pop up: either the great Chaplin, then Admiral Nelson, then Prince Baryatinsky. Many authors of literary works endowed their heroes with this attribute. Woland had a cane with a knob in the shape of a poodle’s head (and what else!). Sherlock Holmes, if you remember the “Colored Ribbon”, reed dealt with the snake. A smile is caused by David Suchet’s walk in the role of Poirot.

And if he was still without a cane! I wouldn’t forget Khlestakov! That’s who is always with a cane! A cane had to be able to handle. Those who did not master this etiquette, got out of the situation simply: hung it on the arm. Surprisingly, in the reeds placed containers in which they just could not stand! A doctor – a first-aid kit, a musician – notes and even a pipe or flute, an artist – brushes, a drinker – a vessel with cognac. And also: lornets, umbrellas, lanterns, watches, telescopes, combs, perfume bottles, stationery … There were special theater canes in which whistles were placed to “greet” bad actors … In the 20th century, spy cameras were built in canes . Have you seen in the movies how villains pour poison from the knob into tea for an opponent? There were such canes from which it was possible to mount a chair to sit on a protracted walk.

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