Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Leopard Fur for Fashionable Feet, c.1910

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Isabella reporting,

Loretta and I are always on the hunt for interesting historical tidbits to share with you, and we never quite know when or how or where we'll find something new - or is that old? I discovered the curious furry object, left, on the "Winter Wonderland" Pinterest board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Check out our own Pinterest boards at Two Nerdy History Girls.)

What exactly is this luxurious accessory? It's a foot warmer, to be used by a stylish, wealthy woman while riding in her unheated horse-drawn carriage or daring new motorcar; think of it as a single slipper for both feet. Fashioned of costly leopard and fox fur (no modern stenciled calf or faux fur here), silk, and cotton, this foot warmer would have kept the chill from only the most pampered of silk-clad feet on their way to a ball. For the lady living in the pre-PETA Belle Époque who was already swathed in a fur coat, fur-trimmed gloves, and a fur muff, this must have been the final touch of extravagance – especially since it would have been a private luxury, and most likely never seen by anyone beyond the user.

Above: Foot warmer, probably French, first quarter 20th century. Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Laura Morrigan said...

A footwarmer! What a useful invention! Great to know!

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