Table of contents:
- 1. Tobacco bottle
- 2. Clothespin for the skirt
- 3. The boat in the hair
- 4. Blocholovka
- 5. Webbing for shoes and shoe for shoe
- 6. Pendants with a reminder of death
- Locket with the eye of a loved one
Over the past few centuries, the life and life of people have undergone significant changes. That is why we often wonder what the mysterious household items and costume elements that we see in museums and in old paintings are intended for. Here are some weird accessories that no longer fit in our wardrobe.
1. Tobacco bottle
Let's start with the most harmless. In the 19th century, tobacco flasks were popular among fans of snuff. The so-called snuff bottle was small and fit in the palm of your hand. Especially appreciated were the bottles painted not on the outside … but on the inside. They were made of semi-precious stones, the neck was sealed with a cork or lid, and a spoon was attached to it for scooping up the next dose. Tobacco bubbles appeared in China, where they were called biyanhu, and then, in the wake of the enthusiasm for everything Chinese, they were borrowed by European aristocrats. By the way, the practice of sniffing tobacco and the existence of tobacco bottles persists in the era of total vaping.
2. Clothespin for the skirt
Clothespins-page, or "Skirt Lifter", became widespread in the 19th century, when long skirts were still an integral part of a woman's suit, but boys-servants holding ladies' trains (in honor of them - the Russian name of these clothespins) has already become a property of the past. At this time, women began to lead a much more active life, they moved more and walked - so that their skirts did not drag through the mud in bad weather, they had to be pinned up.
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3. The boat in the hair
The fashion of the second half of the 18th century amazes with grandiose wigs. These wigs were attached to frame frames, not only the hair of the fashionistas themselves were used, some of them even preferred to shave off their own hair, but also horse hair. Hairstyles were akin to Rococo painting - they depicted gardens, fortresses, bridges, gallant scenes and baskets of fruit, were decorated with ribbons, jewelry, mother of pearl, shells, fruits (mostly - the most popular at the time dummies, trompe l'oeil, and not real apples and pears) … But one of the most widespread subjects was "sea".
For Marie-Antoinette, a wig a la frigate Belle Poole was created - a wire frame, lots of hairpieces and a large decorative ship. Many ladies followed the queen's example, putting on ships of all sizes and configurations on their wigs, and ladies had to use a cane to scratch their heads - fleas inevitably settled in luxurious wigs.
In the XV-XVI centuries. a new trend has appeared among aristocrats - the flea trap. Poor hygiene conditions greatly contributed to the proliferation of fleas, which literally did not allow the aristocracy to pass. Flea traps looked macabre - the skin of a sable or other fur-bearing animal with an artificial, but naturalistically made head and paws made of gold and precious stones. It was worn on the shoulder, like a collar, or clung to the belt.
A little later, the flea catcher changed its appearance, becoming a small graceful bone box with slots, where honey was placed to attract and immobilize a flea. Such boxes were worn in wigs and under dresses, and especially ardent young men wore flea traps on their bodies with fleas caught on the body of their beloved with their own hands, and allowed insects to drink their blood as a sign of romantic suffering.
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5. Webbing for shoes and shoe for shoe
In the Gothic era, aristocrats fell in love with everything elongated and pointed - like Gothic cathedrals. Trails, pointed hats, scallops on clothes … But the most unusual wardrobe items were heads with long pointed noses - bullets. So that the toes of the shoes did not lose their shape and did not interfere with walking, they put a whalebone in them, hammered the toe of tow and pulled them to the bracelet under the knee with special ribbons. The ribbons were decorated with bells, mirrors, tassels. For the convenience of movement, “attachment shoes” were also made - a kind of slippers, the same sharp-nosed ones, which were put on over the bullets. And who said you can't put your shoes on your shoes?
6. Pendants with a reminder of death
Various decorations depicting skulls, decaying bodies and other symbols of the frailty of life have been known since the Gothic era. The creepiest of them are those that show a constant closeness to death. They were carved from stone or wood and represented a head or a human figure, half turned into a skull or skeleton. To heighten the intimidation, disgusting worms or snakes were added to the skull. Most often, these objects served as pendants, could be attached to a rosary, or placed on rings.
Locket with the eye of a loved one
Fortunately, drawn. "Eye miniatures" were thin watercolor miniatures on ivory or thick paper, protected by glass or transparent semi-precious stone. The eyes of dear people could look from brooches and rings, hide in medallions and on the inside of the box lid. They were a fashionable accessory among the aristocrats of Europe and Russia in the 18th - 19th centuries. It is believed that they appeared thanks to the sad love story of the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Mary Ann Fitzgerbert, his morganatic wife. In an effort to preserve the anonymity of his beloved, he ordered a portrait of her eye and carried it with him without taking it off. Subsequently, such decorations were no longer intended to keep the identity of the object of sighing a secret - for example, Queen Victoria ordered "eye portraits" of her children, friends and relatives.
Oddly enough, men began to wear full-fledged trousers not so long ago, and in the Middle Ages they were content with two unstitched trousers, connected by a codpiece, or "shameless capsule" - a case for the genitals. Initially, the codpiece, which looks so provocative in old portraits, was intended to protect youthful innocence - the fashion required to shorten the outer garment to show the legs, but due to the absence of the middle seam on the trousers under the doublet (short caftan), a naked body was visible. The priests denounced such mods as wanting to seduce other men. However, codpieces quickly ceased to be a purely functional element - they were stuffed with cotton wool, acquiring impressive dimensions, and were richly decorated with gold thread, beads and pearls. Some gentlemen preferred to wear catheads in the shape of animal heads - to emphasize masculinity. Others, more practical, kept money in the codpiece.
And in continuation of the theme, a story about chasses, culottes, breeches, or How men's fashion has changed over the centuries.