Saturday, February 28, 2009
Whilst out and about on our travels in search of vintage treasures for the website, we come across so many wonderful and fascinating finds that it is often hard to resist their appeal, and this in turn, leads us into different areas of vintage and collecting. One such area which holds a great fascination for me is vanity, grooming and beauty. This covers a vast and diverse range of pretty items, so there is plenty of scope for building collections and displays.
When I came across this beautiful Victorian Y & N Corset advertising mirror at a recent antiques fair I couldn't resist its rarity and simple beauty...
...with its delicately etched glass lettering and original heavy wooden frame. Women today have a significantly different life from those in Victorian days and one of those contrasts is in the way we dress. My research on the Y & N corset revealed it was really rather innovative in its day, being heralded as 'the most comfortable corset ever made'.
But I have to wonder just how comfortable it was. History has documented the terrible damage to women's organs, which was attributed to the long-term wearing of the restrictive corsets and ladies would often faint because they were unable to breathe properly!
The Y & N corset was revolutionary in its day and its 'diagonal seam' gave the corset extra strength and created a more pronounced hourglass figure. It featured a heart-shaped bust and was popular for evening wear and cleavage enhancement! I don't doubt it was still highly restrictive for women and having never worn a corset (honestly!) I can only imagine how it must have felt to wear one.
So, given the emancipation of today's Western women, many vintage vanity and grooming items are not only desirable and decorative objects, they are also a reminder that things were very different for our female ancestors.
A Special Thank You!
We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has emailed us or left a comment with regard to our new-look website. We were overwhelmed with the response and consequently have been working very hard packing and posting for the last couple of weeks! We are continuing to add new stock and are delighted to reveal that we have also been lucky enough to obtain some real beauties for the textiles section - these will be finding their way onto the website in the coming weeks. Thank you all once again and don't forget you still have time to enter the prize draw (see post below.)