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, which tests between 10-14 carat gold, has a clasp for the handkerchief in two halves that are tightened up by a small ring that slides up or down a straighter section. This clasp is decorated with fine black enamel with a tiny pearl on each side. The manner of holding the handkerchief can be seen in the images. This unit is then connected to a short fine with a finger ring at the end. This ring is quite small and would only just fit a fifth finger; it is made more special by the fact that it is inscribed for "Nellie". Once the handkerchief was firmly placed within the holder, the whole item could then be draped over the gloved hand in an elegant fashion. The condition is excellent for age. This delicious little piece would add to any collection of fashion accessories or perfume-related items. Length 4.5 ins (11.4cm). Weight 4 grams. This item appears in my book, “Chatelaines, Utility to Glorious Extravagance” on page 270. Insured Air Mail Post with tracking to the USA would be $36.50 USD - with no tracking is cheaper. For shipping cost to other countries, please contact us.
Gorgeous Gold, Enamel & Pearl Finger Ring Handkerchief Holder, c1900, inscribed "Nellie"
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