Friday, June 21, 2013

My Secret Addiction: Antique Parasols

I recently acquired yet another antique parasol (and saw Rebecca's post about her new acquisitions), and I really wanted to share it with you all. That made me realize I had never really talked about the three other antique parasols I already own! You've actually seen them in my pictures, but I don't think I pointed them out.

Here are the ones I already have:

  • Two 1850s parasols with baleen (yep) spokes/ribs, ivory finials, and folding handles. One of them has the most beautiful silk fringe too! Their covers were in pretty good condition when I bought them, but after a couple of events, they are starting to crack. I plan to recover these, along with my new baby. 

  • A 1900-1920 parasol with wood handle and metal spokes/ribs and mechanism. The cover was a beige cotton which was in pretty good condition except that it was stained and really icky. I rushed the covering job since I needed the parasol for an event the next day, so I didn't have time to do a proper mock up, etc. This one also had a broken spoke/rib that Michael and I fixed by making a "splint" for it out of a metal tube. It has its original tassel, although it's a little worn.

And now, my new baby! She is my favorite out of all of them, with her sage green watered silk and silk fringe, but especially her ivory handle. She also has baleen spokes and from the 1850s. There is polished cotton at the center of the mechanism and on each rib, where the hinge is. She has the remnants of the cord that was used to keep her closed when not in use. The cord would have had a little knob of ivory at the end that caught in the metal bit sewn onto the cover (see picture. I don't know how else to describe it! My other fringed parasol has this closure.) The thing I find most interesting about her is that the stitches are HUGE. But that would help with not putting too many holes in the nice silk and possibly causing some kind of damage. It is entirely sewn by hand. It looks like the selvedge was used for the edge of the cover (the selvedge is incredibly fine and almost invisible).

I took a lot of pictures so that I could reference them when recovering this, and you can see them all in the Flickr album.


I look forward to recovering all my babies in the future. I will probably re-recover my 20th c parasol first, and then do my first two 1850s, before moving on to my newest one. However, if I get to overwhelmed the wonderful Marta Vincent  recovers 19th century parasols professionally. :)


Robin's Egg Bleu said...

They're all beautiful! I have one, the silk was shattered so badly that I had to recover it. I used a purple/orange shot silk taffeta and lots of ruching for the trim, with a cotton lining. T'was a major pain in the booty to do, but well worth it. Some day, I'll get another one and cover it in black. But I remember all the work involved so not in a tremendous hurry to replicate the process!

Sarah W said...

Beautiful! How interesting to recover them.

I'm a bit amazed that so many people have antique parasols - here in Sweden you'd be *extremely* lucky to find one. But then, Sweden has always had a quite small population (just passed ten million - in the whole country), and only a fragment of it would have ever owned a parasol...

Rebecca said...

Ooooo...*fanning self* That new ivory one is just gorgeous. The carving is spectacular. What an amazingly lucky find that treasure is!

And wow, I'm SO impressed you managed to re-cover that parasol in only the evening before you needed it! This gives me a teeny bit of courage. I'm so terrified to even take the cover OFF of mine, let alone try to put a new one back on!!! Yours looks very nice indeed. :-)

Laura Morrigan said...

What a pleasant addiction! And I adore all your outfits!

Gabriela said...

Your collection is great! I love antique parasols too! :)

Time Traveling in Costume said...

It is addicting, isn't it? I've not been able to recover any myself but I feel like I'm the guardian of them and someday they will have new clothes.
I probably should take photos of all mine for posterity too. One more blog.