Central Block, Ground Floor

Walking Sticks

The story of Walking sticks dates back to very early times. Walking sticks have been constant companions to humans for time immemorial sometimes as a staff for support, sometimes as an aid for the old and sometimes as a weapon for the young.

It initially started as a staff held by people of authority like chieftains of tribes, village heads to shepherds who tended sheep and cattle. In olden times, even prophets held wooden staffs as a means of support; the staff of Prophet Moses is a fact. As time passed the staff transformed into a scepter which was held as a symbol of authority and power by the kings, later these scepters were embedded with gems and precious stones to symbolize the stature of its master.

A change was brought about when in the 17th and 18th centuries walking sticks became an object of fashion for the Europeans and others who carried them. The sticks varied from person to person, a wealthy person would carry a walking stick decorative enough to flaunt his position, while others with lesser means would use a much simpler stick.

With walking sticks holding a center stage, eminent jewelers of that period took time to make them look striking with inlaid settings of precious and semi-precious stones and to make them look exquisite and suitable for the rich taste. Some of this kind are displayed at the ‘Walking stick Gallery’ in the museum.

The gallery has a variety of walking sticks on display. They are made from cane, Malacca cane, wood, sandal, ivory, fish bone, jade, glass, leather etc. Some are decorated with semi-precious hilts also. This entire collection is the personal collection of the Salar Jung family.