Honoré de Balzac (1799 - 1850), was a French novelist and playwright. He is best known as the author of La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy) - a collection of novels and short stories depicting French society in the 1800s. Balzac was also famous for his turquoise-studded walking-stick, which he was never without. It now resides in the Maison de Balzac - his former home and now a museum dedicated to Balzac and his works.
On page 99 of Possession, Mortimer Cropper claims that it was once part of a collection put together by his grandfather.