MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Jan 28, 2013

Vintage Fur Follow-up!



Readers, surely you had an inkling just where my recent, surprisingly polarizing vintage fur blog post was leading...

Straight to eBay!



Have you ever?   You could probably find live mink on eBay too! 





Believe it or not, I've seen men in Chelsea wearing vintage fur stoles like this.  They didn't style it with a cloche hat, but still.

I am guessing that this fur dates at least as far back as the 1940's and perhaps even further.  It's in lovely condition and cost less than $20 with shipping, which is cheaper than a scarf at the GAP -- and those don't come complete with heads, paws, and tails.

Or sweet little bakelite and crochet snap closures.  Or monograms -- sadly not mine.





MSC...I wonder who that was.  The label reads, Henry Martin Company, Utica, New York.








 

I will spare you the closeup of the beady little glass eyes.

Readers, I must ask you: when you see me draped in mink, do you want to...?

a) lose your lunch.

b) throw a bucket of paint at me.

c) make a beeline for eBay and pick one up for yourself.

d) none of the above, see comment below.

Seriously, don't you think this stole is a fabulous vintage accessory?  As far as the possibility that wearing something like this supports the contemporary fur market, I sort of doubt it.  I mean, I think this kind of exercise in taxidermy went out in the 1950s, if not earlier.

The only downside I'm experiencing is that I look at Freddy and think collar-and-cuffs.



Have a great day everybody!

72 comments:

  1. I like it as a historical fashion artifact, but must admit it gives me the creeps. It is just such a blantant and provocative display of Man's dominance over all animals, and that in turn makes me sense bad karma. I do feel strongly about preserving such pieces as parts of our history though. Complicated, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, so was my lunch... ;)

      Delete
    2. Seriously, though, I do think you're right on a certain level. It's one step up from the caveman.

      Delete
  2. With all love and respect...., I chose A. I simply have never understood the idea of wearing the skin of a dead animal as a fashion accessory. Many reasons...

    ReplyDelete
  3. d) none of the above, see comment below.

    I just think they're ugly!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Re cavemen, my stepson (17) fell in love with my mum's fox fur at Christmas. He accessorised it with 3-day-worn tshirt and black jeans (it's summer here), and for no good reason, a large Mexican-style hat. He spent a couple of days stroking the fur, admiring its softness and saying it made him feel manly. So perhaps it is the inner hunter in us all that likes having a (dead) furry animal slung over our shoulders.

    When I see you in it I think...man, those eyes are beady
    and, you need to up the ante on the neck-down attire. The t-shirt is letting your ensemble down a bit. (By the way, how do you get away with wearing a t-shirt in the middle of your winter?)

    ReplyDelete
  5. looks like I am in the minority, I think it looks great on you and as long as the meat was eaten, no reason to waste a good pelt.
    think of the initials as Ms. C. for Cathy. loving the hat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously doubt that meat was eaten, as weasels are generally not on anyone's menu. But those furry guys are already dead, and have been for longer than most of us here have been alive.

      I don't condone the use of non-food skin or fur in the creation of modern garments. In fact, I'm opposed. But what a double waste it would be to simply destroy this stole. It would mean the animals died entirely in vain.

      It looks good on you -- as good as thoroughly creepy, twin dead weasels can look on anyone. So enjoy it. Buy only true vintage fur, and reduce, reuse, recycle.

      Delete
    2. In the past a lot of exotic big cats were killed for their pelts and they were not eaten as food either. I don't think people eat minks, foxes, etc. They are primarily killed for fur. I do know people who kill animals for food and they do use their skins and fur.

      Delete
  6. D-- they might be ugly by modern standards, but in kind of a WOW way! I'd be so curious to talk to you if I saw you on the street.

    Dang, now I kind of want one...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love it, so its option c for me... except I already have several furs that I wear quite often in winter, so I don't need another one.

    Mine don't have the heads and legs etc attached so they are more acceptable to today's society (in my opinion), and I can always lie if someone has a go at me (which has happened before).

    HOWEVER - that wouldn't stop me buying one with heads and legs, I'd just display it at home rather than wear it.

    And speaking of which I saw one in a vintage store last week for over $200. So your's for $20 is a total bargain.

    Off to trawl ebay now :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. If I lived in a colder climate, I'd want one sans the head and feet. (I don't like things that stare at me. It's why I've consistently refused to make Gracie the vintage patterns with the creepy animal heads as bibs on sundresses or sunsuits.) Thing is, I live in the Atlanta area, which means that it's too warm for all but maybe one week out of the year!

    ReplyDelete
  9. It would probably be less unsettling if the heads weren't still attached, but honestly the animals were most likely treated much more ethically in the fur that you own than in the "faux" furs most people own today (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17298301/ns/business-us_business/t/your-fur-fake-or-it-fido/).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ha ha.. poor Freddy! I just told a friend's young son his fluffy cat would make a good collar.. lucky he's so young he didn't really get that the cat would be ...

    Sorry but I don't do dead animals (real for faux) in anyway at all. But I won't spray you with paint or attack you if you do.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awwwww..... Where's my gallon of semi-gloss?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Probably none of the above, as I'm in the "vintage fur is ok since the animal is long dead and we hope we're preventing more animals from dying by perpetually reusing this one" camp.
    However, looking at that particular piece makes me think that if I were wearing it I might glance down and scream if I saw one of those little feet climbing up my arm.

    ReplyDelete
  13. d) You have a lovely cloche.

    I'm rather freaked out by these ones complete with heads and paws; it dates back to my childhood when a lady wore one to church, and I always... well, it was kind of weird seeing a dead animal on a lady in church, OK? As if there were two beings attending church at once, and I could not figure out which one was the real one...
    As far as vintage fur goes, though, I think it's perfectly fine to reuse it when it's already been used once - better than wasting it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think I want one, but I might go the route of without heads/feet so I don't have to try to explain it to my kids. I can only imagine what they'd tell their friends/teachers in school the next day.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm not an animal activist, I just love them and fur coats/mitts/wraps/whatever just creeps me out. What if we did that with people, would it be acceptable? What's the difference?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd prefer it sans appendages, but otherwise, I'd pet that.

    ReplyDelete
  17. d) none of the above - see comment below

    I think it looks wonderful on you, but not only am I currently disciplining my own purchasing habits, but I already have one with five stone martens that's in fabulous shape. They're wonderful (creepy glass eyes, mouth clips and all)!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love it. I do fur. I have a mink stole and a full length beaver. Lot someone try me..... I'll be wearing their skin....

    ReplyDelete
  19. I appreciate vintage fur, but these things creep me out. Especially the way they bite into their brother's tail. Other than yours, I remember how the last mouth was equipped with a spring-pin to close the stole. Arrgh - I was a kid and they were right at my eye level, complete with beady eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That is insanely great! A little while ago, there was a trendlet for fake stoles like that. I made one, but I don't wear it much:
    http://couturearts.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/fox-stole/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Awful. Sorry, stitching animals together like that reminds me of those weird cockatrice experiments where the front half of a pig is attached to the back half of a turkey and then roasted. It's just wrong. Having said that, it's authentic vintage glamour. So I'm feeling very conflicted right now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. #3. but I have a lot of stomach for dead animals. When my parents ate my pet rabbit (well to be fair it was always meant to be eaten, I just got to pet it for a few weeks/month before the inevitable happened) I got to keep the fur and I liked it :P (okay, i sound like a creep, but i really am a well-adjusted individual!)

    I saw those ridiculous stole in vintage shops and i REALLY wanted them! but my husband is being a stiff moral compass and objected to it. perhaps i shall buy one anyways and hide it in my sewing room ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. People who don't like fur but still eat meat and wear leather, and use any number of other products with animal by-products in them are nothing but hypocrites.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Last night I watched "Chinatown" for the first time in years and Faye Dunaway wears one with a suit and she looks GORGEOUS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faye rocked every outfit in that film.

      Perhaps her fur was "SABLE"...

      Delete
  25. I love vintage fur, or even new fur if the animal is eaten, I don't like waste. BUT I must admit I don't like fur when it is in the shape of the animal it came from.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm with (a) lose my lunch. Peter, to me this post has less in common with high fashion than it does with some post escaped from the blog "What's In John's Freezer?" (John studies the anatomy of large vertebrates. I leave you to imagine what's in his freezer, if you don't want to check the blog.)

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's fab! I think the only danger Cathy will face is that unless it's all very carefully coordinated, one runs the risk that the final look will be less Vintage Lady Glamour and more Trying to Recreate Saturday Night Live's "What if Eleanor Roosevelt Could Fly?" Skit...

    ReplyDelete
  28. and freddy looks at you and thinks 'great potential for the meat grinder'; seriously, Cathy will probably tell you that the ladies of the day referred to these configurations as 'scarves'. AND, i think she will look fab wearing one. i can remember a lady a church telling me the story of chasing some mink up and down hills and vales until she finally captured them...i think i was 4 and that was a very long time ago...enjoy, and don't leave this lovely around where freddy can get to it. you never can tell about chihuahuas.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I always thought those furs were ugly. Beady eyes, pointy snouts...not pretty. An in-your-face display of middle-class consumerism, even when they were popular for people who couldn't afford the whole coat. And a blatant reminder of where fur coats really came from.
    However, if you insist on wearing it, you need a close-to-the head felt hat of the kind Cathy (usually?) wears with a bit of net coming down to the eyes and a few tiny blossoms on the side. Very elegant.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have one of those (sadly with only ONE head) that was passed down from my great-grandmother. It's also in perfect condition and when I was little, we played dress-up with it (never really thinking too much about the fact that it was at some point a living thing - glass eyes excluded!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I look at it and think of my grandmother. My brother and I used to chase each other around with hers, trying to bite each other with it. Later she got a stole which we called a lion because it was bigger. I have no idea what happened to either one, but I would wear them in a minute if they were still around.

    I think you look great in it, and I LOVE the hat!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love that you do whatever you damn well please!

    ReplyDelete
  33. don't tease Freddy like that!!!
    Those are the initials my mom was born with -- I bet she'd love this but it can't have been hers; she never would've given it up :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Cathy will adore it, do what you want! I have three of the little buggers, and I freak my teenage son out by making them talk. Yep, they're creepy, but in a fun way. Rock it!

    ReplyDelete
  35. When I was a little girl there were things that I thought were sexy/cool:
    Lisa Douglas's wardrobe (Green Acres), Morticia and Gomez's relationship on the Aadams Family and ladies who wore those crazy mink animal things around their shoulders.

    As for the rest of the animal not being used besides the fur, apparently that's not true. The oil/fat is used in cosmetics and soaps and the meat is used for animal feed and pet food then theres bone meal.

    Tell Ms Cathy to wear that thing like she caught them herself!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I don't like vintage fur or real fur so none of the above. I also don't like faux fur either.
    My great aunt left several furs which we donated as bedding. We also inherited a cape with several fox heads hanging down and a matching muff and hat. My mother threw them out in the trash. Nobody wanted them. I really don't think they look good on either you or Cathy unless you wear it for Halloween

    ReplyDelete
  37. When I was a small child, some older ladies were still wearing their bits of fur. Having someone wearing one of those sitting in the seat in front of us on the streetcar used to scare the daylights out of me. They still look creepy and sad to me BUT, if you want the true vintage look, they're a must have, just as much as the right shoes, hat and gloves.

    ReplyDelete
  38. D.

    I love that you love it! It *is* fabulous. I'm allergic to (practically) everything and I'm no fashionista so considering fur for myself isn't an issue. However, I support your right to buy and wear whatever you wish. And it looks great for the time period.

    I don't think it's quite the right accessory for the plaid plastron dress. Maybe Cathy can pull it off but I worry that the fur is too high fashion and the plaid is too casual. That said, I just *love* the red plaid plastron dress. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I realized that last night, much to my disappointment. Oh well, maybe the next outfit!

      Delete
  39. I'm with the "C" crowd - but I have a couple of vintage furs, which I love. No heads, though. The animals were dead long before I was born. I wear leather, too, so I can't go all judge-y, anyhow.

    I can totally see some fabulous young things wearing that in Chelsea, BTW!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Whilst I probably wouldn't buy a new fur, I have no problem with ones that were dead before I was born. I have some in my wardrobe. I love the stole with the cloche. Very stylish.

    ReplyDelete
  41. To mink: (v, intransitive): to feel slightly nauseated by the sight of a historic fur stole, complete with heads and paws.

    Yes, I minked, just a little. I'm trying to figure out why.

    Maybe it's the absence of irony?

    My friend has knitted herself a faux-mink (or possibly faux-other-small-weasly-mammal) stole, which I think is truly classy. Adding a liberal does of irony is something to consider, Peter. How about accessorizing with a bear-trap hat? Or a Lucite bag shaped like a cage, with tiny felted mink critters inside? ;-) A little context wouldn't hurt.

    Disclaimer: I've never knowingly spattered paint on a fur-wearing human.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sorry this grosses me out. Which makes me a terrible hypocrite as I do wear leather. It just bothers me that it looks like ACTUAL animals. Oh well - enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Those are too creepy - If I wanted paws on my shoulder, I would carry around a live rat...

    creepy and a bit scary!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have no problem with them. Just style it and work it!!
    Cathy can look like a model from Dicker and Dicker of Beverly Hills.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hee. My grandmother had some of these hanging in my closet when I was little and I thought they were the creepiest things. So of course, when I designed ANNIE, Ms. Hannigan had to have a set of these.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The fur is fine but the heads and claws not so nice. It looks really good with your frame though, I have a female friend who is also very tall and has broader shoulders and she can really carry this look off, and has several such pelts. You should experiment when you wear it, see whose eyes people look into when they talk to you, yours or 'theirs' !!

    ReplyDelete
  47. when I was a little kid, my elderly neighbor had one of these mink stoles that she wore whenever she got dressed to go out. I thought it was very.....exotic. I think. Anyway, I saw one many, many years later in a vintage clothing boutique. I picked it to put it on and made the mistake of looking those little minks right in their glass eyes. I had to put that stole down without trying it on. Deep sigh.

    Now, I have no compunction about others wearing fur. I wear a leather jacket and prefer leather shoes over other materials. Leather purses....nothing better exists in the land of accessoryville, at least IMHO. But looking into those glassy eyes did me in. That being said, Peter, I think it's a very cool accessory for a vintage look and can't wait to see cousin Cathy's next photo shoot starring the stole. I hope it doesn't upstage her, but then again, perhaps I underestimate her charisma and overestimate my own rather chilling experience!

    ReplyDelete
  48. D. I have no moral objection. I simply don't like it. Having a bunch of dead animals strung nose to toes is unsettling to me. Leather and other fur don't bother me the same way, even though they are from equally dead animals.

    ReplyDelete
  49. That's not a stole - its taxidermy!

    ReplyDelete
  50. How odd that I am reading your blog today, after havng written a fur post myself (which hasn't gone live yet). I was wondering how people are feeling about fur these days, and your comments have let me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think "every which way" about sums it up!

      Delete
  51. I am in the C group. I love it and think it looks fabulous! Beady glass eyes and all!

    ReplyDelete
  52. A A A A A A A A ....

    Fortunately it's 5 pm here so nothing to lose.

    I'm not easily moved, but ... no.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am in group d): do whatever you like! I hope you have a lot of fun with it, and you really did get a deal! I, however, look at it and can only think that critter #2 is biting critter #1 on the butt! ~Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  54. Oh my. Well, really, including the animal's head and little paws is a little bit more honest. With "regular" fur coats and leather items, the garments could have been made out of a fabric. Including the WHOLE ANIMAL makes it harder for the wearer to forget that they are wearing a dead animal that was killed for its skin, doesn't it?

    As far as Freddy is concerned, repeat after me: "LOVE the dog -- don't WEAR the dog!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true... sort of like smoking a pack of cigarettes that has a graphic picture of rotting teeth or cancerous lungs on it. At least you really have to own up to the act.

      But hey, I can think of much better reasons to throw a bucket of paint on someone.
      ......

      Off topic, but I just discovered the wwwDOTgbacgDOTorg (greater bay area costumers guild and for those interested in patterns and pattern reviews, they have some pages of on-line sources for patterns and some pages of pattern reviews. Lots of historical stuff but also plenty of stuff from the 20th century.

      Delete
  55. Brings back memories of my Grandma. I think her fix stole was real. It was from the 30s. She had leopard fedora too. Has Cathy ever worn leopard?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Are you channelling Maggie Smith in Gosford Park?
    Lexi

    ReplyDelete
  57. My great aunt (born 1912) had one of these that I grew up playing with. I always found it to be a fascinating play thing. I think the only place I could get away with wearing it now (if I ever found it in my parent,s stuff) would be as part of a costume. I do think that it is an odd mixture of glamor, fun and creepy.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I like a big fox stole with head and tail, but this one to me looks like little rats! I think it comes from seeing one too many late night weirdos with rats crawling around their necks on the train...

    ReplyDelete
  59. well, you know what they say about fur coats - it's take 27 spoilt bitches to make one - 26 to make the coat and one to wear it!!!

    if preserving historical is the target then that stole needs to be in a museum (I'm not saying you don't look good in it, in fact I was not going to go that route at all- too late!! but the question was what we think/feel when we look at you in it) so everyone can see it

    fur was used a lot when we only had that to dress in, but then, you also clubbed your partner over the head and dragged them back to your cave to mate so are we going to revive THAT as well?

    then fur became a luxury item, if you had a fur you had money, ever hear the expression "fur coat, no knickers"? I'm told that comes from the times people had a fur but they were poor and it was all pretense to get them noticed and if people thought you were rich, you got a lot more respect and could go places that the poor could not!!

    I prefer fur on an animal and said animal to be living it's life to the full. yes I know we have leather etc but that is , normally, made from animals that are to be eaten.

    there is NO need to kill a beautiful fox just for it's fur. most fake fur you would NEVER know is not real unless you had a good inspection and really, really knew fur (or are allergic to it like me)
    and let's face it, 99% of the young thing wearing fur either look like that just finished working the street corner or are pimp looking for the ones who just finished working the corner, so they can get their cut!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, your comment made me laugh, Unknown!

      Delete
  60. Wow, comments ranging all over the place...good to see though, and everyone has a right to state their opinion (or at least think it).
    You look FABU! The fur is in amazing condition, so whomever owned it before took good care of it.
    I like vintage fur, and if the opportunity comes up, I'll buy vintage fur. Rather than see it go to waste in a landfill, it's little life meaningless. *LOL* and thanks for the imagery of your little pooch as "matching collar and cuffs"!

    Of course, this opinion comes from a veritable cave-woman of sorts - I eat meat, I wear leather, and I beleive in the right to beat the crud out of someone who tries to attack and kill me - PMS is SO annoying! ;)

    Love,
    Mugsy

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails