Canemania History


The first Conference was held in October 1993, at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine. It was chaired by Nancy Taron assisted by Henry Taron, Josiah Beeman and Linda Beeman. Speakers included Michael German and Frank Monek Sr., and Tradewinds held America's first all-cane auction.


The second Conference was in 1996 also at the Samoset Resort in Maine. It was chaired by Henry & Nancy Taron and the keynote speaker was Jonathan Fairbanks, Curator of American Arts, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


The third Conference was in 2000 in Salem, Massachusetts. It was chaired by Henry Taron assisted by Chris Taron along with a partnership from the Peabody/Essex Museum. The highlight was a Collectors Exhibit held in the Museum where five serious collectors showed their favorites and spoke about their collections. The banquet in the Museum's East India Marine Hall was memorable.


The fourth Conference was in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia with new collector Emory Mulling as chair assisted by a Committee including Henry Taron, Lonsdale Green, Herb Sackett and Deanna Mandel. Tours in Atlanta and a barbeque dinner hosted by the chairman were highlights.

Canemania 2006 Napa-8

The fifth Conference was held April 20-23, 2006, in the Napa Valley of California with Eddi Van Auken as chair, along with her fine committee of Larry Mattson, Deanna Mandel and Dick Mandel. Eddi coined the title "Canemania" and the event was memorable with great speakers, tours and events.





Val Rhae Claypoole and Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson and Val Rhae Claypoole

The sixth Conference was held October 9-11, 2008 in Paris, France. The first year not held in the USA - the Conference moves physically to become truly international. The event was co-chaired by Laurence Jantzen, Peter & Tish Robinson, and Bill & Val Rhae Claypoole. Eddi Van Auken served as Committee Liaison from Canemania2006. Laurence Jantzen was the Onsite Coordinator and the best hostess in all of France.

Eiffel Tower Paris

The conference boasted an incredible opening cocktail reception party with a 200 plus folk art exhibit of fabulous canes presented at the Lourve des Antiquaires, a specialized mall where 250 of the finest Paris antique dealers are located between the Louvre Museum and the Palais Royal. The program offered knowledgeable speakers with simultaneous translation into three languages to promote and educate attendees in the making and collecting of antique walking sticks. The best gala ever was held at Les Pavillons de Bercy where attendees and guests played antique fair games, rode carousels and were amused by various talented entertainers. The elegant dinner was followed by dancing with a live quartet.  The “City of Lights” was a most fitting spot for sightseeing, shopping, dining and socializing with fellow cane collectors and dealers.

We hope you will enjoy the photo slideshow recapturing the first ever International Cane Conference held outside the United States. Canemania2008 Photos Available on-line at the following site:

Click to view a post-conference slideshow

Photos from Cocktail Party & Exhibition, Gala, and candids that have been shared may be viewed by clicking on the above image. You may view the photos without creating sign-in information; however, if you wish to download or order prints it will be necessary to create a Kodak Gallery Account.


The Seventh International Cane Collector's Conference was held May 26-30, 2010 in Milano, Italy. Chairmen were PierLuigi Carboni and Pierangelo Marengo, Milano, Italy Antique dealers specializing in antique canes and walking sticks, antique scientific instruments, globes, planetaria, naturalia, eclectic decor, Members of C.I.N.O.A, F.I.M.A, and of the Associazione degli Antiquari Milanesi. 

Advisors were Peter Robinson and Val Rhae Claypoole, USA Collectors and Co-Chairs 2008. 

The 2010 Committee:

Canemania 2010 Milan
  • Eddi Van Auken, Collector, USA. Chair Canemania 2006, Committee Canemania 2008.
  • Larry Mattson, Collector, USA. Committee  Canemania 2006, Member ofthe American Ceramic Circle, an organization which includes ceramic experts from the United States' leading museums and universities.
  • Renzo Traballesi, Collector, Italy. President of MONDOBASTONE.
  • Laurence Jantzen, Paris, France. Co-Chair Canemania 2008. Antique dealer, specializing in antique canes and walking sticks. Expert at the Company: C.E.A.: "Compagnie d'expertise en antiquites et objets d'art".
  • Dominic Strickland, London England. Proprietor withMichael German, Michael German Antiques. Antique dealers, specializing in Antique Canes, Walking Sticks, Arms and Armour. Member of BADA and LAPADA.
Canemania 2010 Milan-2

Building on the success of Canemania 2008 in Paris, collectors once again set their sites on Europe for its 7th International Cane Collectors Conference. This time, they head to Milan, Italy in the Spring of 2010, a destination- and a season-which inspired exploration, (great art, architecture, wining, dining and shopping opportunities!) both before and after the Conference.

Canemania 2010 was Chaired and most graciously hosted by Pierangelo Marengo and Pier Luigi Carboni of Il Segno del Tempo, Milan. Conference veterans Eddi Van Auken and Larry Mattson served as Committee USA, with advisory support from the Claypooles and Robinsons. Committee Europe included Laurence Jantzen, Renzo Trabelessi, and Dominic Strickland.

Canemania 2010 Milan-4

Conference venues were elegant and relaxed, with fabulous Milanese cuisine, starting with the opening cocktail party in the gorgeous 'Palazzo Serbelloni' located in one of Milan’s oldest and most beautiful residential areas, Montenapoleone and Piazza San Babila, lined with historical old family palaces.

Spazio Chiossetto, one of Milan’s Hi Tech meeting centers, designed around the pillars of the ancient building in which it is located, was the site for our meetings. Presentations were simultaneously translated, and topics ranged from The Academic (folk art, marine and liturgical canes, materials used to make cane shafts, personal stories of the “chase”) to The Contemplative (how changes in artistic movements influence cane design, what drives our passion to collect?) and then to The Ultimate Reality Check - how the Global Art /and Antiques Auction Markets will value that passion when we decide to sell. Sell? What? Never!!! In fact, many collectors chose to indulge even more at the traditional Cane Swap/Sale after the meetings!

Canemania 2010 Milan-3

The Saturday Nite Gala was a uniquely beautiful—even mystical—evening set in the Museo Diocesano, site of the Basilica and cloisters of Sant'Eustorgio, founded around VIII A.C. The evening began outdoors in the Cloisters with cocktails, fabulous h'or deurves, a silent auction and a docent escorted visit to the Convent museum with its masterpieces dating from VI to XIX cent. From there, an elegant dinner… and live Opera !... in the extraordinary Portrait Room, where we are sure the “ancestors” are still gossiping about the collegial, and energetic group of Canemanians whose reveling tilted their frames, and made them wish they could join us. And they can, back in the USA in 2012. Chicago, here we come!



And we welcome you to the Eighth International Cane Collector's Conference - September 12–16, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. 


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