In stage productions set in the 18thC and 19thC there is usually a period cane or two for the gentlemen to use. Straight dowels can be used as a cane but these look very cheap because they have no taper. Pool cues painted black with a gold or silver curtain finial attached to the top can also be used as a period cane. The trouble with pool cues is that they are such a generic shape that no matter what you do to them – they still look like pool cues!
Realistic period cane
What is required is something that has a nice elegant taper, is not too heavy and is readily available to purchase.
A great choice of material for a period cane are fishing rod blanks. These are about three metres long with a taper running from ~20mm diameter one end down to ~5mm at the other.
Cut your cane length from the thicker end and you get a very elegant, slim looking cane body. The thinnest part of a cane shouldn’t be less than about 10-12mm. If you get a carbon fibre blank it will already have a glossy black finish so you don’t even have to paint it. All you have to do is attach a nice finial to the thicker end.
It is a good idea to fit a small rubber tip to the thin end of the cane so it can’t slide or be too noisy when it contacts the stage floor.
Another great advantage of using fishing rod blanks is they are hollow and can be used to make sword canes very easily.
All you need is an epee blade (the thin blades used in fencing) attached to a removeable finial on the top of the cane.