This rare German hair tidy, or receiver, it features a delicately molded relief surface is yellow gradually turning to cream. It has yellow and green leaf patterns on both the lid and base. The base has lovely gold leaf flowers that are guides for the lid. The lid has dotted gold leaf at the opening. The delightful design was made by R.S. Prussia. It was produced in the Kingdom of Prussia (Germany) by the Reinhold Schlegelmilch Porcelain Factory ca 1889 – 1909 – when many considered RS Prussia's fine china ware to be the best in the world. It is marked with the well known Prussia Wreath and Star trademark. Fine china items in this blown out pattern from the late Victorian era and Edwardian period are hard to find without damage to out jetting leafs petals, ribbons and bows. This scarce boudoir accessory, however, is in excellent vintage condition (no chips, cracks, crazing). Some of the gold has faded. The lidded jar is about 5" across & 2.25" tall. This museum quality keepsake would compliment many decors, including shabby chic, country cottage and Victorian. The highly collectible antique could also be used as a jewelry box, trinket jar, etc.
Although rare today, the hair receiver was a common fixture on the dressing tables of women from Victorian times to the early decades of the 20th century. Its purpose was to save hair culled from the hairbrush and comb, which were used vigorously on a daily basis. The hair could then be stuffed into pincushions or pillows. Since hair was not washed as often as it is today, oils were frequently used to add scent and shine to hair. The residual oil made the hair an ideal stuffing for pincushions because it lubricated the pins, making it easier for them to pierce material. Small pillows could be stuffed with hair, which was less prickly than pinfeathers.
But possibly most important, hair receivers made the creation of ratts possible. A ratt (sometimes spelled rat) is a small ball of hair that was inserted into a hairstyle to add volume and fullness. The ratt was made by stuffing a sheer hairnet until it was about the size of a potato and then sewing it shut.
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