A bamboo cane or swagger stick was a common accessory for an officer in the British Army and they came in a variety of styles. A very plain example has been covered on the blog before, but today we are taking a look at a slightly more refined example that probably dates from between the wars:
Like many of these swagger sticks, the body is made from bamboo, a fast growing grass from the Far East that has been used for making houses, furniture and small items of turnery for thousands of years and by the Victorian era the material had been recognised in Great Britain as versatile enough to be used for many objects. Its honey colour and the texture within in become very attractive with repeated handling, turning smooth and shiny:
For a swagger stick, there was a constant danger of the ends splitting and becoming untidy, so a brass ferule has been fitted to the base of this stick:
And a shaped pommel to the other, this end is particularly tactile and fits in the palm of the hand nicely:
This pommel has cracked over the years and become loose, at some stage a previous owner has wrapped the end of the stick in a thin strip of newspaper to create a tighter fit for the pommel so it does not come off so easily.
In this image of a World War I officer, it can be seen that the stick he carries is of an almost identical pattern to this one: