During the later 19th century, ladies often carried a means of enhancing the perfume of their surroundings. This could be by perfume bottles or vinaigrettes. A more unusual variety would be to place a fine and delicate handkerchief on a special holder which had a finger ring at one end. The ring would then be placed on the fifth finger, perfume added to the handkerchief and then this could be elegantly waved in the air to float a delicious perfume around the lady! “The New Handkerchief-Ring”, reported in The New Idea, of 1904 was a finger ring example: ‘One of the newest fads in English society is the handkerchief-ring. It consists of a jewelled circlet to which is attached a very thin gold chain ending in a delicate clasp. This clasp holds the handkerchief, which is, of course nothing more than a piece of costly lace’. The attached ring and chain differentiated these from napkin holders and they are much daintier than skirt lifters. [Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance]. This example is of gold, testing from 10-14 carat. Its holding mechanism for the handkerchief is reminiscent of the style used for skirt lifters but obviously much smaller and daintier. The looped bands of gold spring apart once released and close firmly when a small ring is pulled downwards to tighten the broad teeth of the opening. This section then connects to a short fine chain and a small finger ring which would have only fitted a very dainty finger. The clasping section is decorated with a fine engraved pattern. The condition is excellent for age. This piece would be a most interesting item to add to a collection of perfume-related or finger ring accessories. Length 5 ins (12.7cm). Weight 2 grams. Insured Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $32.00 USD - with no tracking is cheaper. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
Attractive Gold Finger Ring Handkerchief Holder, c1900
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