History of the Fur Muff- Help Pls

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House of De Clifford
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History of the Fur Muff- Help Pls

Post by House of De Clifford »

Hi everyone,

The latest addition to our stall is a Fur Muff. I have found various references for them in Regency, Napoleonic and later periods, made from lots of different pelts......but has anyone any evidence for them from Tudor, Medieval periods or earlier?

All I can find is medieval ladies using their fur sleeves as a muff !!!!


Miranda
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Merlon.
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Post by Merlon. »

Earliest reference I know of is Ben Jonson
The fountaine of selfe-love, or Cynthias revels (1601, 1616)
II. ii. 47 She alwayes weares a Muffe

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Post by frances »

There is a book called 'Fur in Dress' that should be able to help.

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Post by House of De Clifford »

Thanks Frances,

I've got that one, but it has only got muffs in Regency.

Thanks Merlon that's helpful.

Part of me thinks that even though there are no pictures, muffs may have been used in medieval times... it surely was cold enough!!!!! and we weren't daft!

Anyone got any good sources of wills.?.......a lot of fur items/clothing were left as bequests.

Miranda x
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Wiblick
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Post by Wiblick »

according to one review of a book called Pelleteries, manchons, et chapeaux de castor: Les fourrures nord-americaines a Paris, 1500-1632
reviewed in The Journal of American History March 2001
the muff was an innovation of 1580ish.

The second half of the book is a historv of
the consumption and production of fur apparel
within France. Again, the years around
1580 emerge as a crucial period of innovation,
for, during a century that was generally a difficult
one for Paris's furriers, two items that were
destined to enjoy great popularity were introduced
to the market in these years: fur muffs
and hats of beaver fur. Production of both expanded
significantly in the subsequent half
century.


also

In Tudor Costume and Fashion by Norris, pg 612, in an accounting of
Elizabeth I's wardrobe, dated 1600, there is a listing of a Muff, or
snoskyn or snuftkin. It's described as being introduced toward the end
of her reign. Picture evidence is scarce, but there is a minature dated
1590's that has a muff in it, sketch of which looks like the typical
muff. Norris goes on to describe snoskyns given to Elizabeth as gifts,
made of 'saten' and perfumed leather, embroidered with venice gold,
silver and silk. another snoskyns gift is a pair, one for each hand,
made of 'cloth of silver, embroidered all over with flowers and
braunches of Venice, silve and silk of sondry colors.'

from http://www.florilegium.org/files/ACCESS/gloves-msg.html


so searching for snoskyn or snuftkin might help you.

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Post by sally »

Wiblick wrote:
so searching for snoskyn or snuftkin might help you.
what truly splendid words! How easy do you reckon it will be to drop those into modern conversation :lol:

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Post by Wiblick »

I shall certainly be doing so at the earliest opportunity! I also insist Miranda sell them as Snoskyns and not muffs!

a search in google books using muff and the second book mentioned above allows you see the page in question with a picture.

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Post by Tuppence »

One of Hollar's pictures shows a woman carrying a muff.

Think it's from the four seasons, but I'd have to check that...
Attachments
hollar_winterfig.jpg
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Post by House of De Clifford »

What a fabulous word! I think I shall use it.

It saves all the men sniggering when I talk about muffs :oops:

Miranda :wink:
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Wiblick
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Post by Wiblick »

perfectly work safe!
http://www.muffdivingclub.ie/

Miranda, see you at Bunratty in June! Although I'm not sure you're entirely welcome sans the sweetie shop in my opinion!

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Re: History of the Fur Muff- Help Pls

Post by Karen Larsdatter »

http://www.geocities.com/curvess2000/mu ... _dress.htm
http://www.houseffg.org/belphoebe/Resea ... /Index.htm

and also http://larsdatter.com/zibellini.htm for a related sort of thing.

In terms of related descriptions, there's also a few that Queen Elizabeth was given in 1599-1600:
  • one snoskyn of crymson satten, laide uppon with perfumed leather, cut embrothered with Venyce golde, silver, and silke
  • one snoskyn of clothe of silver, embrothered all over with flowers and braunches of Venyce golde, silver, and silke of sondry colors
  • one snoskyn of clothe of silver, embrothered all over with flowers of Venyce golde, silver, and silke of sondry colors
  • one snoskyn of blacke velvet faire, embrothered with Venice silver and gold, and lyned with white plushe
  • one snoskyn of sylver tabyne, tufted with ashe-color silke, and lyned with white plushe
There's also an entry in the Catholicon Anglicum that shows that the word (appparently spelled 'snwfkyn') was used to describe a fur muff as far back as c. 1475.

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Post by Colin Middleton »

Was the medieval fashion of gowns with long, loosish sleeves?

If they come down over your hand enough, you'll not want a muff. Bettr to have the long sleeves (and perhaps gloves) so that you can still hold the reigns.

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Post by frances »

I would suggest that you be a bit careful with Norris. My view is that he had a tendancy to make things up. He acknowledges this in the pictures, sometimes, when he says that 'this is what it would have looked like'. So I therefore wonder how much scholarship lies behind some of his statements. I do get the feeling that he can give credence to things that people of his time thought happened in the past.

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