Cane with Black Snake and Marquetry Handle
carved and painted wood and inlaid wood Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 28A
Luce Center Label
Artists decorate canes with a wide variety of images, from traditional carvings of snakes and birds, to nude women, political figures, and celebrities. Some artists highlight the natural shape of the wood by applying relief designs onto twisted branches and roots, while others carve three-dimensional shapes into the shaft. Images of animals are the most popular decoration, but many canes also show patriotic, fraternal, and political themes. (George Meyer, American Folk Art Canes, 1992)
Animal - reptile - snake