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Albatross Beak Cane

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A rare Victorian Malacca walking cane, the handle made using a silver mounted albatross beak, the hallmark to the collar extant but worn to illegibility.

English circa 1880.

The beak 6 inches long. Overall length 36.5 inches 

It was widely believed that killing an albatross would have disastrous consequences for a mariner but this myth largely grew out of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. As was reported by James Cook in 1772, sailors regularly killed and ate the albatross, along with anything else that swam or flew around them.

Taking the albatross for food by mariners in the 19th century had no effect on their overall population, it was the harvesting of the smaller, short-tailed albatross for the feather trade in the 19th century that bought that species close to extinction. Today, the principal threat to the albatross comes from long-line fishing, especially illegal long-line fishing; the albatross a bycatch casualty estimated to be around 100,000 per year. 






Item Code: 5163

£ 1750

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