Antique Glass Walking Sticks
An antique glass walking stick is a type of decorative walking stick.
History & Description
Glass walking sticks first appeared in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and were produced by glassmakers using left over materials at the end of their workday. Glassmakers were allowed to experiment with glass on their own time and created objects either for their own use or to refine their skills.
Generally, there are two types of glass walking sticks. One is fashioned from solid lengths of glass which are repeatedly twisted to produce a constant spiral shape along the shaft, while the other has a hollow baton and was often made of clear glass and decorated with stripes of assorted colours along its length.
They are also called glasshouse whimsies or friggers.
Guide for collectors
Due to their fragile nature, glass walking sticks were rarely used for walking and were either used purely for decorative purposes, or occasionally employed ceremonially in parades and special events. Collectors should also take note that these items rarely feature a maker’s mark or stamp, which makes it difficult to date individual items.
They are occasionally sold through both national and international auction houses and are also infrequently advertised on eBay.
Notable auction sales
On March 11th 20006 at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, North Carolina, a collection of eighteen antique glass walking sticks realised a price of $500.
On April 23rd 2006 at Burchard Galleries Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, a collection of five antique glass walking sticks realised a price of $700.
On February 5th 2006 at Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California, an antique Murano glass walking stick realised a price of $275.
On February 18th 2006 at Richard D. Hatch & Associates in Flat Rock, North Carolina, a Victorian glass walking stick, circa 1870, realised a price of $225.