Swordstick

Swordstick

A swordstick or cane-sword is a cane incorporating a concealed blade. The term is typically used to describe European weapons from around the 18th century, but similar devices have been used throughout history, notably the Japanese shikomizue and the Ancient Roman dolon.

The sword cane was a popular fashion accessory for the wealthy during the 18th century. While the weapon's origins are unknown, it is apparent that the cane-sword's popularity peaked when decorative swords were steadily being replaced by canes. Soon after their introduction, other "gadget canes" became popular, holding the tools of one’s trade rather than a blade.

Malacca wood was the most commonly used material in making the cane shafts, and the standard grip was rounded and metallic. Today, designer and collector canes have sterling silver handles, and are made with various wooden shafts, from Malacca to bamboo. Ornate designs, such as animal heads, skulls, and various emblems are also carved into the wooden handles, making them harder to wield, but more attractive. Sword canes are most often made with stainless steel, rapier-pointed blades, some with dual-locking mechanisms to prevent accidents.

United States

A swordstick may be illegal to carry in many jurisdictions as it is a concealed weapon, and is sometimes considered a disguised weapon. US states with statutes that expressly prohibit the carrying of swordsticks include Arkansas (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(b)(3)(B)) and California (Cal Pen Code § 12020(a)(1). Other states may include swordsticks under the general ban on carrying a concealed weapon or a weapon disguised so as to conceal its true nature; an example of such a case can be found in State v. McCoy, 618 N.W.2d 324 (Iowa 2000).

United Kingdom

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988, ISBN 0-11-088019-6 also made it illegal to trade in sword canes in England and Wales. However, antique swordsticks which are 100 years old or older are exempt.

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