Around the 17th or 18th century, a stout rigid stick took over from the sword as an essential part of the European gentleman's wardrobe, used primarily as a walking stick. In addition to its value as a decorative accessory, it also continued to fulfil some of the function of the sword as a weapon. The standard cane was rattan with a rounded metal grip. The clouded cane was made of malacca (rattan stems) and showed the patina of age:
Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain,
And the nice conduct of a clouded cane.
— Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock
Some canes had specially weighted metalwork. Other types of wood, such as hickory, are equally suitable.