During the late 19th century, the long skirts tended to sweep the floor and pavements and it could be necessary at times to lift them up to protect the garment. These have been called by various names - porte-jupes, dress clips, pages, dress suspenders or skirt lifters. This is a fairly typical example which would have been attached to the waist with a ribbon or a chain. There is a shield-shaped plaque which has a hand with floral decoration and when the ring is pulled the shield moves up to close the arms of the skirt lifter. When pushed down, this opens the arms and two flat discs that hold the fabric so that the skirt could be released. This piece appears to have never had an integral waist hook. The condition is good for age with some fading of the gilding. Such items are an intriguing addition to a collection of earlier, unusual fashion accessories. Maximum length 4.5 ins (11.4cm). Weight 42 grams.