As individuals age their balance often becomes compromised. Over time the use of a cane stops being optional and becomes a necessity. When choosing a walking stick or cane as an everyday accessory it is important that not only does it function properly but that is also offers and aesthetic value.

Many hand carved canes use heraldic symbols as a way to offer visual appeal and bring meaning to a piece making this style popular amongst cane owners. These symbols and their classifications have intrigued people for ages. Family history can often be connected by examining the coat of arms and the symbols within.

Each symbol represents an individual, family, community, society or city all found one of several classifications of heraldic arms. Having an understanding of these classifications and symbols brings to life the symbols within hand carved canes. With the inclusion of such in a cane users are allowed to draw the focus away from the practical use of the cane and allow it to be on the canes meaning.

Heraldic Symbol Classification

Arms of Succession: Arms of succession are used to represents inheritance from bequest, entail or donation.

Arms of Community: This type of heraldic symbol is most often used to represent corporate institutions such as a university or city.

Arms of Dominion: The dominion usually represents the arms of the state often held by kings or sovereigns. These symbols are not allowed to be modified or adjusted by a change in dynasty or ruler.

Arms of Pretension: A king or prince who own or stake claim to other territories often hold the heraldic symbol of pretension. Since it is only partially owned the symbol is displayed in the territory.

Arms of Concession: These arms are given when extreme bravery or good virtue is shown.

Paternal Arms: Paternal arms belong to and outline a certain family’s ancestry. These heraldic symbols are not allowed to be duplicated. This would be seen as a breach of conduct. Over time the symbols are allowed to be modified because of this some symbols are hardly recognizable and have lost their original significance.

Arms of Alliance: After marriage the arms of alliance is granted. This new set of arms represents the bond now shared between the two families.

Arms of Patronage: Followers of a king often wear the arms of patronage. The symbol is a variation of the original arm of their leader.

Arms of Office: Associates of a ruler often are granted the arms of office. This is the same design as the kings with a slight alteration.

Each coat of arms offers a story. The classifications and meanings of heraldic symbols tell a unique story. A cane carved with a coat of arms and individual heraldic symbols offers a dual purpose: user stability and aesthetic art with a story. The story behind the cane makes using the cane about something other than the individual’s loss of stability which is an important factor to many users. Antique canes draw in a wide variety of users for the same reason. It is important for this to be passed on to younger generations and talking about the designs on canes is a great way to pass the information all while achieving the stability that is needed.
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