Friday, October 8, 2010

A Weighty Issue

A tiny history lesson...
Perhaps you know this, and if so you may wish to move on. But, this is something that I just learned---and this is the reason that I'm a collector and lover of old things. Because they have a past, a history and I absolutely adore feeling a part of its journey.

This is a necklace that will be listed in my shop shortly. The centerpiece is a beautiful, velvet covered, veil weight. I fell in love with its patina and then sought out its purpose.  From the mid 1800's to the turn of the century women wore long veils over their hats to protect their faces from the dust and wind. These lovely buttons were sewn to each corner of the veil to keep it from blowing away. 

Learning about this custom explained some of the large, black, glass "buttons" that I have collected and have always thought would be odd additions to clothing. These black "weights" would have been used in mourning attire to weigh down a veil as well. 

The very knowledgeable button expert from whom I purchased the velvet weight told me that they were even used at the corners of hankies to cover drink cups outdoors and keep out the bugs and dust.

Knowing all this makes this sweet velvet veil weight even prettier.
Even more precious.

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