An extremely rare and unusual commemorative walking stick. The main part of the stick is bamboo, with a grafted section of hardwood on the top which has been carved into the shape of a bent finger to form a handle.
The stem is carved with an inscription which is interspersed with carved vignettes showing characters fishing with rods and catchnets, and various fish, including catfish.
The inscription reads: 'THE PRESIDENTS FINGER - FISH EATING ON THE BANKS OF THE BANASS WITH LATOUCHE GRANT MACPHERSON AND REDDIE MEMBERS OF THE RAJMAHUL POPJOY CLUB'. It is signed 'WHAT A BEAUTY - G. Templer March 1838'.
The Banas River is situated in what is now Rajasthan, a state in Western India. In the early 19th century, this area was known as Rajputana, and was firmly under the control of the East India Company, not officially becoming part of the British Empire until 1858.
It is most likely that the words 'Latouche', 'Grant', and 'Macpherson' refer to surnames of people who were stationed in Western India, and were either employed or associated with the workings of the East India Company, a governing force established by Major-General Robert Clive (Clive of India) in the 1750s.
East India Company walking stick - c.1838
Dimensions (h x w)
89.5 x 7cm (width measured as length of the finger at the top of the stick)