Walking Stick Presented to James Eads from Edward Bates,
From the Merrimack
TURNED FROM A PIECE OF THE MERRIMACK DESTROYED 5-11-1862 Date/Period: American Civil War Era
Measurement: Overall length: 37.75"
Material: Oak, gold
Additional Information: American Civil War and Naval History interest. A piece of
timber cut from the wreck of the Confederate Ironclad Ram 'Virginia', also known as
'Merrimack' was used to fabricate a fine and historic presentation walking cane for the
celebrated builder of Union Ironclads James Buchanan Eads; offered together with a
small collection of associated memorabilia.
Oak cane featuring gold handle finely engraved with tight foliate scrolls within panels, a
slightly domed top bearing the inscription 'A PIECE OF THE MERRIMACK
DESTROYED MAY 11TH, 1862 / James B. Eads From Edward Bates. Quercus Ferro
cedit'; shaft pierced for a lanyard, the hole being fitted with gold grommets, shod in
The diary of U.S. Secretary of State Edward Bates includes the following entry for May
13th, 1862 (two days after the Merrimack was scuttled) "Saw the wrecks of the
Cumberland the Congress, and the Merrimack. Admiral Goldsborough gave me a stick
of white oak, large enough to be turned into a heavy cane, sawn from a beam of the
James Buchanan Eads was a major figure in the history of American ironclads. As an
engineer and salvage entrepreneur he was an expert in the navigation of the Mississippi
river and its tributaries. Eads, at the outset of the war, volunteered his services to the
North. He built numerous Ironclad gunboats (predating the Merrimack) which served
with distinction in the vital river war. He was, also, a personal friend of Edward Bates's
and these factors must have prompted Bates to bestow the gift of the cane upon him.
The Latin phrase 'Quercus Ferro cedit' (Oak yields to Iron) neatly encapsulates both
Eads's contribution to the war, and the important events of the celebrated Battle of
Hampton Roads. This is unquestionably a fine and substantial relic of a famous ship
and a famous battle, and together with the fact that it was salvaged within days of the
Merrimack's final destruction, while the Civil War still raged, works in concert making it a
most impressive example of American Civil War memorabilia.
Offered with portrait miniatures of Eads and his wife Eunice painted on porcelain, their
United States passport dated 1854, and two albums of press cuttings and other
ephemera providing interesting context for the cane, as well as testament to the
friendship between Eads and Bates.
Provenance: By direct descent from Eads's son-in-law and colleague John Arnold
Ubsdell, who worked under him on the Mississippi jetties, and who married his adopted
daughter Genevieve (Eunice's child from her first marriage).
Reference: See: Epic Sea Battles by William Koening and
S.L. Mayer (editor), London, 1975
Postscript: At the outbreak of the American Civil war the Union States of the North
possessed the advantage of almost all North America's industrial capacity, and nearly
two thirds of her population. The Confederate South with its agricultural slave economy
was forced to import almost all its warlike goods as well as a significant proportion of its
food supplies, and thus a key element of Union strategy was a Naval blockade of the
Southern ports. The Union had also retained its Navy, but the Confederates had gained
possession of the Naval yard at Norfolk, Virginia, and with it the remains of the wooden
hulled steam frigate Merrimack, partially burned by the Union Navy to deny her use to
the Confederates. On the remains of her hull the 'Rebels' built a new vessel, armored in
iron and re-Christened Virginia (a name that is almost invariably disregarded in favour of
the original 'Merrimack'). The Virginia sailed into the waters of Hampton Roads on
March 8th, 1862, to attack the blockading ships. She sank the Union sloop Cumberland
with her ram (almost being dragged to the bottom herself in the process) and forced the
frigate Congress to run aground before destroying her with gunfire. All the while the
return fire of Union ships and shore batteries bounced off her armour. On the following
day she was challenged by the Union's own ironclad the Monitor, a modern design with
a rotating turret. After an inconclusive exchange of fire both ships withdrew, each
claiming victory. Two months later Union forces recaptured Norfolk, and the Virginia
was scuttled by the retreating Confederates; but despite her short life her name
resonates through the history of Naval Warfare as a participant in the battle that
confirmed the primacy of armored warships and set the major powers of the world on a
new course of ship construction. She is also remembered as a remarkable example of
Confederate initiative and daring.
Additional Information: Presented to Honorable D.M. Burns – Secretary of State – From the
Employees of his Department – January 8th, 1883. [Daniel M. Burns was California’s Secretary
of State, 1880-1883)
DANIEL MONROE BURNS Probably the youngest Tennessean at Sutter's Fort when the
eastern gold seekers began to arrive in 1849 was Daniel born in Paris, Tennessee, in 1845. He,
an older brother Thomas M., and sister Laura A. had accompanied their parents William and
Caroline Griffin Burns when they left Henry County in 1846 to lead a wagon train of settlers to
Oregon. While in route, their father died of cholera. Sometime after reaching Oregon, the
widowed mother married Alfred Shelby, and in February 1849, they responded to the gold
discovery by relocating to Sutter's Fort.
• Burns served in the army during the Civil War, promoted to Colonel.
• Service Record: Enlisted in Company B, California 4th Infantry Regiment on 15 Apr
1864.Mustered out on 19 Feb 1866 at Drum Barracks, CA.
• 1872-1876: Deputy County Clerk, Yolo County
• 1877-1880: Deputy County Clerk, Yolo County
• 1890s: Police Commissioner, City of San Francisco
• 1899: Candidate for U.S. Senate (Lost)
Died 30 May 1927 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara, California, United State
Gold & Gold Quartz Dual Presentation Cane, General Samuel Breck
Martin White – Jan. 25, 1872 – James Maybery
Second Presentation: To Gen. Samuel Breck - 1900 Date/Period: 1872 and 1900 Presentations
Measurement: Length: 35.75"
Material: Gold, gold quartz, koa Wood
Additional Information: Gold and Gold Quartz Cane, California, c. 1872, the gold knob
top centering an octagonal faceted gold quartz stone, the paneled collar with original
presentation inscription "Martin White/Jan. 25th, 1872/James Mayberry," and secondary
presentation inscription "to Gen. Samuel Breck 1900," on a tapering koa wood shaft
indigenous to Hawaii. The cane terminates with a 1.5-inch ferrule. This is a
marvelous/historic example that once belonged to a West Point graduate, Indian fighter,
Civil War participant, and General.
The large gold and gold quartz knob handle measures 2.5-inches high and 1 1/2”
across the top. Set within the top in a gold bezel containing a 1.25-inch faceted and
polished gold quartz stone containing polished raw gold flecks and is free of cracks or
fissures. The eight panel sides are decorated with elaborate engraving, four of which
have matching engraving. Three panels are inscribed: “Martin White”, “Jan 25th, 1872”,
and “James Mayberry”, which was the first presentation. The fourth panel is inscribed: “To Gen. Samuel Breck, 1900”. (This cane was given to General Samuel Breck after his
retirement from his Adjutant General post in the U.S. Army in 1900. It was originally
presented to Martin White by James Mayberry in 1872.)
Breck was born 25 February 1834; Middleborough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
Died: 23 February 1918 (aged 83) Brookline, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Married to Caroline Juliet Breck. Father of Samuel J. Breck. Graduate of United States
Military Academy at West Point, New York, on July 1, 1855. Served in the Third
Seminole War. Professor of Geography, History and Ethics at West Point. First
lieutenant and captain in the 1st United States Artillery from 1861 to 1862. Assistant
adjutant general under General Irvin McDowell on November 29, 1861. Brevetted
brigadier general on March 13, 1865 for "diligent, faithful and meritorious services
during the war". He served until he retired in 1898, serving the last year as Brigadier
General, and Adjutant General of the Army.
Title: Gold and Gold Quartz Presentation Cane,
Leon Ehrman to Myer Ehrman, 1869 Date/Period: 1869
Measurement: Length: 36.25"
Material: Gold, gold quartz, ebony, brass ferrule
Additional Information: To Leon Ehrman from Meyer Ehrman – May 1869
Gold handle with two oval gold quartz stones at each end of the handle, with
Daniel Webster Carved Ivory Bust Topped Cane
Daniel Webster By Henry Varner
Among the most impressive political canes we have encountered
4.5" tall ivory bust; silver collar/band below bust engraved "Daniel Webster By Henry
Varner." Original glass eyes, hardwood shaft and brass ferrule with iron terminus. Bust
displays nice moderate toning; mentioned for accuracy are three vertical shrinkage
fissures and a tight crack above the silver band at approximately 7 o’clock. A striking
likeness that displays very well. (Length: 36")
Walking Stick, Twisted Vine, Man’s Head Grip Date/Period: Circa 1880-1900, possibly southern
Condition: Very good
Additional Information: Great folk art carved grip of man’s head above
the root twisted stick.
Folk Art, Rare Prisoner of War Walking Sticks,
Pair, Husband & Wife
Canadian, circa 1915-1916
Carved, and impressed, original polychrome paint - SOLD
Rare pair prisoner of war folk art walking sticks displaying the names of husband, and
wife. Beautiful carved and painted serpents; the trips are crafted of bullets/casings.
Inscribed “Made by Austrian Prisoner of War. Internment Camp Edgewood B.C.”
Larger cane inscribed “John Black”, the slightly smaller ‘Mrs. J Black”. Internment Camp Edgewood BC.
The Edgewood Camp, British Columbia, Canada imprisoned WWI Ukrainian Canadians
and other Eastern European circa1915/16. When the war began, the Canadian
government implemented the War Measures Act and issued an order-in-council
resulting in the internment of over 8,500 “enemy aliens,” more than half of whom were
Ukrainian immigrants. Excellent original condition. (Length: 30.5"; length: 34.5")
Sterling Silver Presentation Cane And case
An outstanding sterling presentation cane in case. Crook-type with elaborate scrollwork from the crook to about two-thirds down the shaft, followed by an engraved checkerboard pattern. A presentation inscription reads TO W.A.M. DUNDAS ESQR., FROM SINGER ORGANIZATION CEYLON 29.3.41. Below this inscription, in the scrollwork is an engraved bird of paradise. At the base of the crook is a repousse' elephant and at the tip of the crook is a repousse' and engraved flower. The cane is marked near the bottom PUNCHI SINGHO & BRO. It tests sterling and comes in its original, velvet-lined, rosewood case. In superb condition the cane measures 36.5-long; case is 38.5-inches long.
Antique, Carved & Painted Walking Stick,
Folk Art Cane
Anonymous, late 19th Century
A friendly polka dot painted serpent having a forked sheet iron tung is coiled around the
carved and painted tapering shaft…also a wonderful little green frog. The shafted is
incised and carved. (Length: 32.25")
Antique Cane, Carved Folk Art Walking Stick, Original Surface
Anonymous, likely circa 1880-1900
Beautifully carved hand with ringed finger, bracelet and cuff holding a ball above the tapering inlaid
shaft featuring an open chamber containing three carved dice; a pair of snakes, their eyes set with
mine cut stones are coiled around the stick. (Length: 35")
Antique Walking Stick, Folk Art Carved, Painted & Stained
Unknown maker, circa 1900-1940
The orb shape grip above a vocabulary of relief carved figures centered by banded barrels; bird, clover
and anchor above man and woman; Odd Fellows three link chain and squirrel, turkey, skull and
crossbones and heart in hand…all above a delicately carved snake which is missing an inch of its tail.
The silver plated bust on fruitwood shaft with horn tip…
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