The Collectors Cabinet: The Art of Canes

12/07/2017 - 10/09/2017
Alnwick Castle walking sticks display
Image: walking sticks by Norman Tulip at Alnwick Castle Northumberlandexpand/collapse

On display in the ballroom Collector's Cabinet at Alberton is a small section of antique walking sticks belonging to rabologist (the name for a collector of canes) Max Campbell.  Revealing these sticks to be more than just mobility aids but beautifully crafted objects in their own right, the range of items also gives an insight into the various uses and social symbolism of the walking stick throughout history.

Initially essential accoutrements of masculine attire connected with weaponry (some sticks actually sheathed swords), staffs are sacred objects and signs of status in many cultures and religious. During prohibition 'tippling canes' contained compartments for viles of alcohol. In men’s fashion, the cane was made particularly popular in the early 20th century along with top hats and tails by the likes of Fred Astaire.

To see more examples of Max's canes, crooks, sticks and staffs come along to a talk on Saturday 22 July at 2pm. If you have a significant stick of your own please bring it along to 'show and tell' its story!

Event Details


  • From: 12-Jul-2017
  • To: 10-Sep-2017
  • Wednesday - Sunday
  • 10.30am 4.30pm
  • Public talk about the collection: Saturday 22 July
  • 2pm

How Much?

Free with normal house admission (adults $10, children and Heritage New Zealand members free). The public talk by Max Campbell is also free with normal admission.

Make a Booking

No booking necessary for the exhibition or the public talk.


  • 100 Mt Albert Road
  • Mt Albert
  • Auckland
  • 1025

Contact Information

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday - Sunday
  • 10.30am - 4.30pm
  • Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.


Adults: $10 Children free Unaccompanied children $3.50 Use your Entertainment Book voucher here. Please understand that surcharges may apply at times of special events.