Spanish Style Walking Sticks in the Collection of the National Museum in Krakow


  • Monika Paś National Museum in Krakow



walking sticks, Toledo, makila, Basques, National Museum in Krakow


The collection of the National Museum in Krakow includes over ninety walking sticks from different parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, dated from the 18th century to the second half of the 20th century. Most are kept in the Department of Decorative Arts, Material Culture and Militaria, in the collection of which artefacts manufactured in Spain constitute a relatively small percent. Therefore, from this group it is worth presenting two walking sticks, previously unpublished, connected with the culture and art of the Iberian peninsula. The staffs described in this article represent two categories. The first of them is an elegant clothing accessory carried by a man who took care of his appearance. A note in the documentation of the donation indicates the cane had once belonged to Lucjan Siemieński (1807–1877), a Polish poet. Although its handle was made in Eibar or Toledo, as a whole the cane might have been made and used outside Spanish borders. Regardless of the how and where the cane was bought by Siemieński, it seems it can be dated to the third quarter of the 19th century. The second of the staffs, linked more with the local folklore, provides information about the place where it was made. The inscription visible on the bottom ferrule suggests the staff was made in 1881 in Saint-Jean de-Luz, a town on the Atlantic coast in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, France, several kilometres from the border with Spain, a part of the Basque province of Labourd (Lapurdi). Both the construction and decoration signify that is a makila (makhila), a cane characteristic of the Basque men’s costume.


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How to Cite

Paś, Monika. 2021. “Spanish Style Walking Sticks in the Collection of the National Museum in Krakow”. Studia Iberystyczne 20 (November):259-74.