Halfway down rue de Beaune in the 7th arrondissement, there’s a small shop that sells walking sticks.
It would be very easy to walk past without noticing, but inside is a treasure trove of curiosities, a deep dive into French history, and a jaw-dropping selection of walking sticks from centuries gone by.
But first: What you need to know about canes is that there are essentially two types; The decorative kind (where the handle has a carving or a jewel) and the gadget kind (where the handle opens to reveal anything from a revolver to a musical instrument). Look, the one below turned into a violin!
The Galerie Jantzen has hundreds of both types of walking sticks and we got to see many of them. The shop owner, Chloe Jantzen, joined us on The Earful Tower podcast to talk about her shop, its history, and her magnificent collection of 1,200 walking sticks.
The Earful Tower podcast episode
You can listen here (or wherever you get podcasts), and you can scroll down for lots of pictures while you’re listening.
Practical details about the shop
The gadget walking sticks
Let’s take a look at just a few of the gadget walking sticks. Below you’ll see the violin again, but also swords, blow darts, weighing scales, hidden vials for absinthe, a gun, a flashlight, and a periscope.
The decorative canes
Many of the canes were spectacularly decorative. It’s hard to summarize, maybe even impossible, but here are some pictures including animal heads, mermaids, gargoyles, jewels, and more.
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All photos: Augusta Sagnelli