billiardsforum on 1/16/2017 9:41:41 AM
We were looking into this item for someone and came across your post. Here is what else we found.
According to a comment on the net, they are from Vietnam from the late 1960s and early 1970s:
I got mine in Vietnam in 1972 for $10.00 USD, maybe not even that much.
And bamacues from AZB said:
I have a carved one with large brass ball handle. I picked it up in Yokosuka on R&R back in 1971. They were made for the tourist market and did not sell for much. I have seen several sell on Ebay over the years for less than $50.
Most of these 5 piece cues were circa Vietnam war, brought back as souvenirs. I had one myself, at one time. Most of them were built of ramin wood. I still have my carved walking stick/pool cue from back then. It isn't worth much either, but it brings back memories. Some good, some not so good.
There are lots of these around and most are not worth much. Every so often you find one that has ivory joints. In the end, most 5 piece cues were made in Asia and brought back to the USA, so they only have sentimental value. The adhesives and materials used were of low quality and the craftsmanship is poor quality which means that they are junk. Many of them were brought back by men from Japan during their service in the Korean War.
I came across five eBay listings for the same antique vintage walking cane with concealed pool cue and a dragon carved into it, and it sounds like the one you described.
The first one is the only one to give more info on the history and I'm afraid they don't have anything to do with Willie Hoppe.
I don't know the maker. Nor do I know it's age, except that it is old. The brass pin screws into the threaded wood of the shaft which seems , after a lot of use, to be a bit sloppy but when tightened up the stick is tolerably straight.
I spiffed it up a bit so it looks pretty good but I don't think you would want to play $500.00 sets with it. It is a beautiful novelty or collectors item that I don't think was ever made for real competition. It is a hollow walking stick that contains a pool cue shaft and can be turned into a suitable billiard cue. Coloured maps of Japan and Korea are engraved on the walking stick (the butt). This " Pool Cue/Cane" was made as a souvenir for American soldiers stationed in those countries in the 1950s.
Another cane, about 40 years old, also made in Vietnam I believe, with a billiard shaft enclosed in it. Its knob and tip both unscrew and a dragon is engraved on it. It is noteworthy that a billiard chalk can be stored in the knob.
Next one is in the best shape of all of them, and it is the cheapest. $20.50.
Vintage Carved Dragon Wood & Brass Concealed Pool Cue Walking Stick
Walking stick is in nice used condition with some small scuffs on the brass tip at the bottom. Walking stick measures 33 3/4" long. Pool cue is in good condition with no dents or dings along the shaft and the tip is good. Pool cue weighs 18oz when assembled.
Antique cane with a dragon etched on it. The top brass knob unscrews to expose a black rubber ball with a hole cutout which is the pool cue tip for the bottom and some space to hold chalk. The lower end of the cane unscrews. It is 36" in length. I am thinking it could be as old as the early 1900's but it is just a guess.
It is from an eBay sale, and the seller doesn't know anything about it and seems ignorant to any history. His selling price is $79.99 but has no bids and it probably won't sell. There is no reference to Willie Hoppe in the listing either.
The next listing is the identical concealed pool cue cane. Again no details in this listing. It is much more beat up than the first one, and the price is $39.45 again with no bids.
Vintage billiards pool cue, walking stick, cane combo. Both ends are brass (tarnished and scratched) and the carving is of a dragon. The felt is missing from the cue tip and needs to be replaced. The wood also has scuffs and scratches.
Next another listing for the same cue cane combo, but with darker wood color. Selling for $74.99 with no bids as of yet.
*Walking Stick with concealed pool cue
*Wooden cane is a carved dragon
*Top is a brass handle that screws off
*Inside the cane is the pool cue
*It screws together to become a full length pool cue
*Wooden cane - 32"
*Pool cue - 25 3/4"
*The cane and pool cue have some scratches, brass needs polishing, no nib for bottom of cane