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Walking-stick

Object Name: Cane
Date: 1840-1860
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Medium: Wood, gold-plated metal
Dimensions: Overall: 36 1/8 x 1 1/4 in. ( 91.8 x 3.2 cm )
Description: Wooden cane with tapered shaft; foliate decorated knob handle with inscription; and metal ferrule.
Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. Lathrop C. Harper
Object Number: 1957.252
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Marks: engraved: on top of handle: "From P.G. Arcularius/By Bequest" engraved: on top of handle: "JAMES R. HARPER"

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According to the inscription, this cane was bequeathed by Philip Arcularius(ca. 1750-1824/25) to his son-in-law James P. Harper (1795-1869), New York City mayor and businessman.

Born in Marburg, Germany, around 1748, Philip Jacob Arcularius immigrated to New York prior to the Revolution and engaged in the baking business with his brothers. According to family legend, Arcularius volunteered to supply the city’s soldiers with bread during the Revolutionary War. By the 1790s he had left the baker’s trade to become a tanner and evidently prospered as a master artisan.

Philip Jacob Arcularius's eldest daughter, Christina (whose biblical sampler, #1957.208, and portrait, #1957.211, are in the collection) married James P. Harper, a publisher and major of New York City who ran on a Know-Nothing nativist platform.