Monday, September 27, 2010

A Victorian Tartan Wool Shawl

This is a 150 year old Scottish crinoline shawl with a genuine West of Scotland provenance, in a very subtle, slightly faded, green and purple tartan. Sadly, it's also full of moth holes, but it's a fascinating reminder of a previous fashion craze! I don't know what the tartan is - have tried to search for it, but with no success. The craze for tartan began in the early 1800s, with Walter Scott's deliberate romanticising of the Highlands, but these tartan shawls became very fashionable when Victoria was at the height of her obsession with all things Scottish (including her Highland servant John Brown!) These huge crinoline shawls were for warm outdoor use, when the crinoline hooped skirt was also in fashion, i.e. about the mid nineteenth century, so this is a rare and interesting survival.

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