LAST week’s Craven Curiosity, pictured below, seems to have foxed everyone, given that there were no correct suggestions as to what the innocuous-looking object might be.

Several readers, quite understandably thought it might be some kind of walking cane - which it is, sort of, though yet again the devil is in the detail. The object is in fact a sword-stick, which contains a hidden blade, and was bought in an antiques shop by a reader some years ago.

The sword-stick was a popular fashion accessory for wealthy men during the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was becoming less socially acceptable to openly carry a sword - but there was still a perceived need for self-defence.

Swords concealed in ladies’ walking sticks and parasols were also fairly common, as it was even less socially acceptable for a lady to carry a sword - or publicly admit that she knew how to use one!

Details about this particular example are unknown, though it was probably manufactured around the middle of the 19th century.

Soon after their introduction, other ‘gadget canes’ became popular, which Instead of a blade, these would hold the tools of one’s trade.

The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons), made it illegal to trade in sword canes in the United Kingdom - but antique sword-sticks which are 100 years old or more are exempt.

This week’s ‘Curiosity’ is walked over every day - but what and where is it? Send your suggestions to: by 8am on Monday please.