ashmolean

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Cane handle

Gold

Origin: Probably London

Date: c. 1740 -1750

7.7 cm height

Marks/Maker: Signed 'Barenger'

Heraldry: Hellier quartering Harris and Penn, with Huntbach quartering Cooke and another, probably Fowke, in pretence.

Presented or bequeathed by Sir Samuel Hellier (d. 1784); WA1949.381

T. Schroder (2009), no. 412

Gold and silver-gilt cane heads, chased, enamelled or decorated in other ways were a common form of male adornment and together with decorative watch cases and snuff boxes were considered important fashionable accessories. The embossed scenes on this cane represent the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

Snuff: Snuff is finely ground tobacco mixed with scents. Spanish royalty introduced the habit to England. The taking of snuff replaced smoking by the early eighteenth century when the damaging effects of smoking became more and more apparent. By 1720, the production of silver tobacco boxes had virtually ceased and the gold snuff box was rising in popularity.

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