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Straw and celluloid cuff protectors



#7555 $350   Reserved

Straw and celluloid cuff protectors, 1870s

Vintage workday apparel is the most difficult to find, as serious collectors know. Such items were worn until they fell apart and were then discarded. I was thrilled to find these rare cuff protectors.

According to the Maine Maritime Museum, which owns a similar pair of cuff protectors: "They were a solution appreciated by the laundress. Straw cuff protectors were slipped over the wrists to protect billowing shirtsleeves while house cleaning."

Our pair goes a step further with celluloid liners inspired by detachable celluloid collars and cuffs, a popular Victorian menswear item. Easily wiped clean with a damp cloth, these very rare cuff protectors were widely used until it was discovered that celluloid is highly inflammable.

For such a utilitarian item, the high quality construction is remarkable. The hand-plaited straw is meticulously wrought. The plaiting, done on the diagonal, is stretchy like a bias-cut fabric.

The celluloid liners are stamped "Paragon Brand/Clark's Cuffs collars & c./Amsterdam, N.Y." and "Patent applied for."

The condition is excellent.

The cuffs are 6" tall.

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