September 20, 2013

Vintage Fur Tippet

A rather tattered box was among the treasures that I received from my cousin, in the lower right hand corner was the logo of one of the finer department stores in our area.

Memories began to stir as I remembered shopping with my mother for a new Easter dress, hat and coat. When it was time to pay for our purchase my mom would slide the credit card from the red plastic holder and give the sales clerk the credit card that had my father's name impressed in the metal, it was similar to a service men's dog tag. The clerk would hand write a sales slip place the slip inside a metal tube hold the tube up to a pipe that would suck the tube to the credit department located on the top floor of the store.

Well, that was a fun trip down memory lane, now back to what was inside the box.

I removed the lid from the box pushed the fragile tissue paper aside and found a fur tippet or fur stole resting inside.

To my horror surprise a furry face, feet, a tail, nose, ears and beady glass eyes stared at me. Again memories began to stir, and I remembered all my Aunts and most of my cousins owned fur tippets. For some reason, my mother did not own any kind of fur. Perhaps she was against animal cruelty, but more likely my father couldn't afford to purchase one for her. 

This fur tippet or fur stole is made from two pelts and can be worn several different ways. You can wrap it around your neck, drape it over your arm or shoulder, or clip it to your lapel or collar.

A cord wrapped clip to securely fasten the tippet.
This tippet is made with two furs.

This family photo dated May 1953 shows my two cousins and aunt all dressed up with their fur tippets.

The box was tucked on a shelf in the garage, and one day while the children were playing in the backyard I called my daughter over to show her the curiosity fur tippet. While sharing our feelings about what was inside the box, my nosey grandson ran over to see what we were doing.

"What is it?" asked my five year old grandson. I picked the tippet up by its tail and showed him what was inside the box. His eyes opened up wide, and he took a few steps backwards. "What do you do with that?" he asked.

Now, what is a loving grandmother supposed to do when a sweet little boy asks a question like that? 

I of course began to move towards that sweet boy dangling the fur from my fingers. He screamed so loud and began to run in circles around the yard. Tears streamed down my face and my daughters from laughing so hard. 

We explained that it was a fur collar that women wore around their necks when they got all fancied up. My grandson slowly approached me and the fur tippet. Using one finger he poked the fur, and keeping a safe distance away from the fur examined the feet, tail, ears and face.

I was to babysit for him that evening and told him perhaps I would bring the fur tippet along, I of course was just teasing him. That evening, when I told him it was time for bed, I didn't have any trouble getting him into his bed.

For those of you who are shaking your heads and thinking that I have traumatized my grandson, be advised that every time he comes over he wants to go into the garage to see the fur.


  1. What a wonderful story! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the fur tippet.

  2. You made my day, Paulette! My mother told me that my year old niece shouted "woof woof" when my elderly aunt walked into our house wearing such a collar back in the 1970's. i think I have my Dutch mother-in-law's somewhere upstairs in a drawer. Maybe I should put it out in the garage. No, Flippy would find it! Have a great weekend. Linda

  3. That was a good story! I still have my great grandmothers enormous, below the knee fur coat, I remember her wearing it so vividly and how we used to bury our faces in the fur. She was a very striking woman in her fur, she was 5' 8" which was pretty tall for her time. She said the fur was mouton, which I thought was a sheep but it isn't kinky fur. Love your story, that little fox still looking perfect!

  4. I remember going to church as a child and the lady who sat in the pew in front of ours always had a fox fur stole which she wore in winter.It always gave me the heebie jeebies and if it slipped onto our shelf you never saw anyone move so fast!

  5. Oh my gosh, was that what they were called?? My Aunt Esther used to wear one of those. It always creeped me out with it's little beady eyes. LOL what a fun trip down memory lane!

  6. I hadn't thought of those in years but recall long ago seeing aunts and other ladies wearing them, they were quite the style. One of my aunts had a mink fur coat and a pet mink that had the run of the house.