Museum and Library Closures

The New-York Historical Society will be closed on September 23, and select spaces will be closed September 24. For details, please visit our calendar.

Cane

Cane
Cane
Title
Cane
Date 
1880-1930
Medium 
Wood, possibly maple
Dimensions 
Overall: 38 3/4 x 5 x 2 1/2 in. ( 98.4 x 12.7 x 6.4 cm )
Description 
Wooden cane with a crook handle, tapered shaft with high relief carving of two intertwined snakes with rattles eyeing a frog; carved collar suggesting acorn top; remnants of painted decoration.
Credit Line 
Gift of the estate of Ina Love Thursby
Object Number 
1944.38
Gallery Label 
According to the donor, this cane was carved by Indian Chief, Sitting Bull (ca. 1831-1890). However, its carved motifs of intertwined snakes and a frog are not typical of Native American canes. The cane may have originated in the American southwest, and could possibly have been purchased as a souvenir from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, which included Sitting Bull as a major attraction.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group