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The Collectors Cabinet: The Art of Canes


Wed 13 Sep 2017, 10:30am–4:30pm
Thu 14 Sep 2017, 10:30am–4:30pm
Fri 15 Sep 2017, 10:30am–4:30pm
Sat 16 Sep 2017, 10:30am–4:30pm
Sun 17 Sep 2017, 10:30am–4:30pm

Where: Alberton, 100 Mt Albert Road, Mt Albert, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission adult: $10.00
  • Admission child: $0.00
  • Admission Heritage New Zealand Member: $0.00
  • Additional fees may apply


On display in the Collector's Cabinet at Alberton from 12 July to 17 September is a small section of antique walking sticks belonging to rabologist (the name for a collector of canes) Max Campbell.

Revealing these sticks to be more than just mobility aids but beautifully crafted objects in their own right, the range of items also gives an insight into the various uses and social symbolism of the walking stick throughout history.

Initially essential accoutrements of masculine attire connected with weaponry (some sticks actually sheathed swords), staffs are sacred objects and signs of status in many cultures and religions. During prohibition ‘tippling canes’ contained compartments for vials of alcohol. In men’s fashion, the cane was made particularly popular in the early 20th century along with top hats and tails by the likes of Fred Astair.

To see more examples of Max's canes, crooks, sticks and staffs come along to a talk on Saturday 22 July at 2pm. This will be an informal chat followed by a Q&A and a spot of afternoon tea. Free with entry. No booking required.

If you have a significant stick of your own please bring it along to ‘show and tell’ its story!

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