Our consignor purchased this fabulous early tassel, among others, while living in Holland for nine years. During this time, she collected vintage and antique trims, buttons,ribbon, lace, etc. This tassel is truly a treasure and originates from a fine French estate. It dates between 1850 and 1875. We have been told that the construction is 9 karat gold wrapped on linen thread, although the tassels have inner "fill" fringe that appears to be cotton wrapped with brass. Many of these tassels were also constructed with gold plated threads, which may also be the case. The condition is quite remarkable and it appears this has been stored away for decades. Certainly worthy of display in a museum , the tassel is very opulent with a heavenly hue to the old patina of the golden threads. Overall condition is very strong and stable with rich bouillon streamers cascading from the body of the tassel. The way these strands have been created results in something called frisé. Frisé is created to be twisted just a bit to make the corners lay in different angles to show off a lot of reflected light. These 19th century tassels have become very popular and have been featured in various popular home decorating magazines. This is your opportunity to own a genuine 19th century version. It measures 13" long, not including the sheath which feels like a silk/wool challis which measures 15" long, including the fabulous gold colored bullion fringe. Remarkable that the sheath has stayed with this all these years. This would be lovely highlighted on a window treatment, embellishing a velvet and silk pillow or displayed in a shadowbox. Please view all my photos for an accurate reflection of this stunning tassel's condition.