A Silver Handled & Peacock Wood Novelty Walking Stick, Hallmarked for 1888; Henry Howell & Co (Jonathan Howell), London


Origin: English
Period: Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1888
Length: 34.5 inches

The fine peacock wood cane terminating in a hallmarked silver handle fashioned as armadillo armour, monogrammed to the collar with the initials JW. Condition is largely fine; there is no ferrule present and some pitting to the silver but nothing to cause alarm.

Hallmarked for 1888, the initials J.H stamped within a lozenge, Henry Howell & Co (later Jonathan Howell) were registered makers as cane & stick mounters, trading from Old Street in London.

Henry Howell & Company, London, England were the largest and simply one of the world’s most prestigious makers of fine walking sticks and canes. Their pieces are heavily sought after by collectors today and are often, but not always, identified by the distinctive Henry Howell Co. badge or button. By 1895, Henry Howell & Co. employed four hundred and sixty people and declared itself the largest single manufacturer of walking sticks in the world. The business continued to thrive for many more years under the stewardship of Jonathan Howell and probably reached its pinnacle around 1910.

Victorian dress was not complete without a walking stick or cane, and this fine example, by a top maker, is still a delight to behold today.