A Victorian gentleman would have a number of canes – there would be a rustic cane, perhaps made of a stout wood such as ash, for walking the dogs and a more sober cane for the office. Then, for going to dinner and to the opera, a man would carry a lighter cane with a shaft made of an exotic wood, perhaps rosewood, with a gorgeous handle made out of something such as tortoise shell.
Whoever you were, there was a cane for you. If you were a Duke, there were canes that reflected your status in the richness of the wood. Peasants would carve their own canes and illustrate them with country pursuits, such as shooting, fishing and hunting. Sailors would use whalebone with whale teeth for the handles. Ebony and ivory, transported to Britain from the colonies, also ended up on canes. Some of these canes had additional functions.
Here below is a set of vintage photos that shows Victorian men posing with their canes.