This weekend I finished a tippet! With the weather having turned hideously cold (high of 29? really? I know I should give thanks I'm not in Alaska but this Midwestern girl likes moderate temperatures) I've been thinking about how 18th century folk had to deal with the cold....especially women. NO long gown sleeves for the better part of the century, mostly finger-less mitts, impractically short or thin-looking cloaks...ugh I don't think I would have survived, or else I would've been unfashionably wearing blankets everywhere.
But I quite like some of the winter accessories, like muffs, and especially tippets! Furry scarves? Sign me up. Now I should make the disclaimer that I do not like the thought of murdering tiny animals to wear them, but since my tippet is vintage I figure it's ok to recycle. Here's the inspiration for the tippet:
(Marquise de Lamure, née Charlotte-Phillippine de Chastres de Cange, by Charles-Antoine Coypel (1694-1752).)
So much gorgeousness in this painting that I don't know where to look first. The adorable lace cap, the earrings, the fan, the gloves (WITH FINGERS thank god, at least this woman knew how to be practical) and funny arm-warmer things. Of course none of my clothing is anywhere near this fabulous or upper-class, but when I spied a bit of fur at the thrift store and realized it was about the same color as the tippet in this painting, I snapped it up.
Most likely it was a coat collar at some point -- the back was covered with satin and it was stuffed inside with some dubious batting, with a row of snaps along one edge presumably to stick it to the coat.
It had a row of netting along the other edge, which came in handy when stitching the fur shut into a little tube. No idea what kind of fur it is...it's not silky enough for mink, not rough or long enough for coyote...all I can think of is that maybe it's been chemically treated somehow, or faded in daylight. A friend said it looks like a furry snake now...it doesn't! Ok I'm not fooling anyone, it kind of does.
Tada! A tippet!