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 is such a handkerchief holder. Although some examples held the kerchief in a clip, this one has a chain that can be pulled through the holder, the handkerchief placed through the chain and then the chain tightened (see images). This piece is of 10 carat gold and the actual holder is finely chased in a most decorative pattern. The overall condition is excellent for age. These items are quite rare and this would add beautifully to a collection of finger ring accessories and chatelaines or hold its own amongst a collection of pendant perfume-related items. Maximum length 4 ins (10.1cm). Weight 6 grams.
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Intriguing 10 Carat Gold Handkerchief Holder, late Victorian
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