The Mode in Furs: A Historical Survey with 680 Illustrations

The Mode in Furs: A Historical Survey with 680 Illustrations

by R. Turner Wilcox


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The Mode in Furs: A Historical Survey with 680 Illustrations by R. Turner Wilcox

From prehistoric garments to modern high-fashion designs, this unique survey traces the history of furs and fur accessories. R. Turner Wilcox, a former fashion editor for Women's Wear Daily, begins with practical uses of reindeer hides and bearskins for warmth during the Stone Age. Advancing to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome, she defines fur's role as a status symbol during the Renaissance and its eventual adoption by wearers outside the aristocracy.
The 680 drawings that illustrate this volume depict furs of all times and places: panther skins of Egyptian high priests, ermine mantles of French queens, sealskin trousers of Alaskan Eskimos, and raccoon coats of American college students. Chronological entries include introductions for each era, and a helpful glossary of furs features images of their animal sources. Professional designers and costumers as well as amateurs with an interest in furs will find this volume a valuable reference.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486478722
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 11/18/2010
Series: Dover Fashion and Costumes
Pages: 270
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 From Earliest Times Through Byzantine 14

Stone Age

Nile Valley

Prehistoric Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Near Eastern Peoples


Mesopotamian Valley

Asia Minor


Ancient Persians

Cretan Civilization






Byzantium or Constantinople

The Orient

7 Plates

1 through 7

Chapter 2 Medieval Europe 46

Mantles, gowns, petticoats, blankets, bonnets and mittens of fur or fur-lined

List of Frankish furs

The pelisse

Charlemagne and his lambskin coat

Ermine called "Armenian rat"

Spotted ermine for royalty

Vair or miniver

Clergy and peasant

Crusaders bring furs back from the East

Circular Gothic cope

Hattes of bever in the eleventh and twelfth centuries


Use of furs in heraldry

Sumptuary ruling on miniver and ermine

Marco Polo and the Tatars


The surcoat and the gambeson

Furs as heirlooms

Origin of livery

Parti-colored costumes

The houppelande

Extravagant use of fur

Sumptuary decrees

Fur gloves

24 Plates

8 through 31

Chapter 3 Renaissant Europe 76

Rise of rich merchants

Fabrics and furs

Beaver hats

Imported furs

Braided fur greatcoats of Western Europe

The "goller"

Spanish cotte

The muff and "muff dog"

Henry VIII

The miniver cap

Fur tippet

Russian fur gifts to Elizabeth

Furred nightgown

Leather corset

Turkish caftan

The Janizaries



Scarcity of peltries

New World furs

The Incas


23 Plates

32 through 54

Chapter 4 The Seventeenth Century 100

Note on the Vikings


The French on the St. Lawrence

Rat musqué

Trading posts

Captain John Smith

Henry Hudson

Dutch West India Company

Hudson's Bay Company

American beaver

The Cavalier hat

Beaver pelts as currency

The buffcoat

Leather costumes

Bison or buffalo

The muff or "indispensable"

Muffetees the palatine

Fur neckpiece

The Dutch sacque

Furred petticoat

Fur cap

"pelzkappe" of the Teutonic countries

The French hood

The red ryding hood


Bearskin bonnet

Roquelaure or rocolo


Armenian robe

Notes of a French master furrier

15 Plates 55 through 69

Chapter 5 The Eighteenth Century 101

American trading posts

Northwest Fur Company

Discovery of the Columbia River


John Jacob Astor

List of furs

Colonial hatters

The French hood

The muff

Fur trimming

Feminine greatcoat

The mante



Masculine fur-lined greatcoat

Hussar jacket

Bearskin busby

Catherine of Russia and Voltaire

The banyan robe of honor

Napoléon's coronation robe

A fur shop in New York

American Indians and furs

12 Plates

70 through 81

Chapter 6 The Nineteenth Century 154



Monkey fur

The Empire pelisse or witzchoura

Fur-lined gowns

The talma


"snake charmer"

Fur boa

The muff

Fur on boots and bonnets

Men's fur-lined overcoats

Silk plush

The pardessus

"turkey back" jacket

Mantles of the 1860's

Mantua maker

Sealskin and astrakan sacque


Tiny muffs

Fur accessories

Mountain goat


The buffalo robe

31 Plates

82 through 112

Chapter 7 The Twentieth Century 220

A great fur period

Fur generally worn to the outside

Chinchilla ponyskin

The pillow muff


Men's fur-lined overcoats

The raccoon coat

Fur coat for the miss

Sheared raccoon

Neckpieces and stoles

Krimmer mink summer furs

Dyed fur ensembles of coney rat fur

The feminine fur collared cloth coat

Decline of the muff


New light weight dressing of pelts

Silver fox

Furred tweed masculine overcoat

World War II

Furred utility jacket

Fur fibers in weaving

Summer furs




Pelts white furs

Colored furs

Hair seal

One sleeved stoles

Fur sweaters

"moustache," a new fur

For 1950, 106

Different modish furs

58 Plates 113 through 170

Chapter 8

Fur Manufacture 221

Glossary of Furs 233

Bibliography 255

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