Remember gloves? They became a fashion ornament starting in the 13th century. In the 16th century, gloves reached an elaborate peak when Queen Elizabeth 1 set the fashion for wearing them richly embroidered and jeweled. In Paris, the gantiers (glove makers) perfumed their leather gloves. Makers of knitted gloves knit them of silk as well as wool. Knitted gloves were a refined handiwork that required five years of apprenticeship; defective work was subject to confiscation and burning. In the 17th century, gloves made of soft chicken skin became fashionable. The craze for gloves called "limericks" took hold. This particular fad was the product of a manufacturer in Limerick, Ireland, who fashioned the gloves from the skin of unborn calves.
Gloves were worn by emperors, Queens and Kings, 1950s Vogue models and society ladies, gardeners, doctors, and Michael Jackson (a single glove). There's a glove for every occasion, vocation, excessive heat and frosty cold. What do they all have in common? Maybe they need a stretcher.
This antique Tiffany and Co. sterling silver glove stretcher was patented on June 28, 1875 and used during the Victorian era when there were lots of gloves on hand that needed stretching.
This stretcher is solid sterling silver with an ornate repousse handle covered in beautiful floral work. The inside of the handle is marked TIFFANY & CO. - 8261M8237 - STERLING SILVER - PATENT JUNE 28, 1875.
The stretcher measures 7 1/2 inches long. It's 1 1/2 inches across the handles. It weighs 91 grams.
This Tiffany stretcher was very tarnished and scratched up when we bought it. We usually don't have things polished but our jeweler thought it would make it look a lot better (which it did). With the polishing came a slight coppery tone to parts of the stretcher. Though sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver, the other 7.5% is usually copper. Hence the glow. We acid tested different parts of the stretcher and they all tested right for sterling. We mention this so there are no surprises. And, there are two tiny dings along the stretcher shafts.
We've included one vintage hand-crocheted glove for display or practice purposes.
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Antique Victorian TIFFANY & CO. Sterling Silver Glove Stretcher