Description

    A Superb 19th Century Cane with Gold and Gold Quartz Handle. One of the most elegant and beautifully crafted examples we have ever encountered. Amazingly detailed vignettes of miner, cowboy, mounted figure with gun, and Native American around sides. Large octagonal piece of exceptionally fine gold quartz with beveled edges, diameter 1.125", set into top. This cane probably originated in California circa 1850-60s. A leading California collector has a very similar example engraved with an 1858 presentation date.

    This example was presented a total of three times! The original presentation is engraved on the side panels: "S. C. Fogus / to / A. C. Wilgus / California." Shelton C. Fogus was one of the original argonauts who crossed the Plains by covered wagon and arrived in California is 1849. He set up a general store in Sacramento, where he was a merchant until he joined the gold rush to Virginia City, Nevada, where he took up prospecting, located a mine, and built a quartz mill in Bodie. It was said that the gold and silver amalgam in the ore was so rich and thick that it clogged the pans. Later he moved to Carson City, where he built one of the first flour mills using water power from the Truckee River.

    Our research has failed to turn up any information about Wilgus, but the cane seems to have remained in the Wilgus family. An 1889-dated inscription reads "Mrs. Lucy Wilgus to John Tudor." The third inscription reads "John Tudor Mills to Thomas Evans Oct. 1899." Presumably John Tudor Mills was the name of Tudor's business. However, we have not been able to uncover any information about that, or about Thomas Evans. Thus the most interesting historical aspect of this cane lies with its original presenter, Shelton Fogus.

    It is in beautiful condition, with none of the cracks or chips often found on gold quartz pieces. Rosewood shaft and original metal tip are equally nice. Length 34.25".


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    24th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 673

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