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Swagger stick with concealed blade

Article about: I acquired this recently and was seeking views on its origin and period. I assume that it is a ‘swagger stick’ unless anybody can correct me. It is about 19” / 49cm long and pulls apart to r

  1. #1

    Default Swagger stick with concealed blade

    I acquired this recently and was seeking views on its origin and period.
    I assume that it is a ‘swagger stick’ unless anybody can correct me. It is about 19” / 49cm long and pulls apart to reveal a concealed blade. It is very light in weight and leather bound. It is unmarked and I would guess that it was made in Indian by its appearance. I have seen various references to similar ones being of Ww1 and WW2 period.
    It needs a bit of TLC and I’m wondering about the best way of cleaning the blade as there is quite a build up of rust.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Swagger stick with concealed blade   Swagger stick with concealed blade  

    Swagger stick with concealed blade   Swagger stick with concealed blade  

    Swagger stick with concealed blade   Swagger stick with concealed blade  


  2. #2

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    I agree, probably Indian made and early 20th century/pre WW2. I believe the early swagger sticks were longer.

  3. #3

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    Many thanks for the reply. I’ve seen many similar ones for sale on the internet but no history about them. I don’t think it was a bad buy for £26

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    That’s bad ass

  5. #5

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    Interesting piece.

    This appears to be similar to the "Malacca" carried by officers of some British regiments even today but never with the internal blade of course.
    It is leather covered cane (Malacca is the root of the Rattan plant) and often referred to as a "Swagger stick" though that is more properly applied to the silver topped and badged version historically carried by NCO's (practices vary in other nations).

    The original Malacca cane was a 17th Century walking cane that was "worn" (one "wears" a cane in period parlance rather than carries it) as a fashion statement by a smart gentleman. A "Rake" or "Bounder" would go for the added concealed blade!

    In British military uniform it became much shorter and not a walking cane but a badge of office carried in Service Dress.

    In the case of this one, firstly it is very unlikely to be military because of the concealed blade (although even in military use they have always been private purchase rather than issue items so who knows) and certainly no British officer would be tollerated possessing such an "ungentlemanly device".

    The other thing is that things such as this as well as Persian helmets and armour, Tulwars, handcuffs, padlocks etc are being made this very day in the same factories that produce the "genuine"15th century chests tables etc for the tourist trade. So caution is certainly advised especially at such a low price. I should have an expert (I am not that well qualified) view it in hand, perhaps a well established national auction house of the status of Sotherby's because if genuine and of the right period if could be worth far more than what you paid.

    Otherwise, a really cool curio

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #6

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    Here is one i have came out of House clearance some years ago with someother items from a Officer who had served in India in the 1930s and 1940s
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Swagger stick with concealed blade   Swagger stick with concealed blade  

    Swagger stick with concealed blade  

  7. #7

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    Many thanks for the reply. I had not heard of the Malacca before as most of the information that I have looked at refers to them as swagger sticks. I am confident that it has considerable age to it from the construction and condition of the leather, wood and metal. Interestingly when I did a bit of research there was quite a few mentions of Americans having ‘swagger sticks’ with blades (including Patton). As you say, it’s a cool curio and whilst it probably dates from before my collecting era (WW2) I’ll be keeping hold of it.

  8. #8

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    Quote by kradman View Post
    Here is one i have came out of House clearance some years ago with someother items from a Officer who had served in India in the 1930s and 1940s
    Nice one

    Looks like 10th Bn The Gloucester Regiment which was disbanded in 1918 if I recall so the history of this one would be fascinating.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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    Thank you Mark , yes i sure it would have a story to tell if it could talk

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    Might be just the thing to have with you, if you found yourself in a dark back street in Bombay in 1930.

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