The cane was given to Commodore Foote possibly by his sisters, Eliza & Charlotte on Christmas Day, 1887.
Gold Tipped Cane Belonging To Midget Charles Nestel Known As “Commodore Foote,” given to him on Christmas Day, 1887.
This gold tipped cane was give to Charles Nestel, the Midget known the Show Business realm as “Commodore Foote.” The small engraved tip reads, “Dec. 25 1887 / COM”D / FOOTE / From E & C. I can’t be certain, but I believe the “E & C” are in fact Eliza and Charlotte Nestel, his sisters. The tip is about 1 1/4 inches long and chased with floral and other decorative patterns. Other than the presentation, there are no visible markings.
It is 26 3/4 inches long, with the cane being made of a hardwood, and darken in a deep brown color. The drag or end tip is made of German Silver with a small tip of iron.
I purchased with the cane, a small collection of images of the Commodore, and a few post cards addressed to him.
- A cabinet photo of Commodore Foote standing between Officers of the Indiana 9th Regiment of Infantry Circa, 1902-1905. Image size is 5 x 7 on a larger gray mount.
- Civil War era CDV of Charles Nestel, beside a chair in studio, taken by Fredericks & Co. New York.
- Two color litho post cards of U.S. warships with notes addressed to Commodore & Sister. (Sister most likely Eliza, or “Fairy Queen.”
Charles Nestel was born in 1849, at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and his sister Eliza was born in 1857. Both were midgets and began performing in a show called “The Little People.” They performed in small venues, sideshows, and later in P.T. Barnum’s Circus. During the Civil War, then entertaining in an Odd Fellows Hall in Washington, D.C., they were invited to the White House as President Abraham Lincoln’s guests. A newspaper, Washington Star reported that a good number of the cities elites had been out to see them in “Wonderful Performances” in February of 1864. Charles passed away in 1937, and his acting and traveling companion sister Eliza for so many years, became so heart broken with his lose, that she passed only 10 days later.
in fine condition.