Velvet tufts on silk. The beauty of antique ribbon
I am placing most of this collection of antique ribbons in my Ebay shop, but this one is a favourite! In a lovely duck egg blue, this wide ribbon is ingenius in manufacture, in the the underside is completely plain, whilst the top side couldn't be more decorative.
If we want to get a good sense of the wide array of ribbons available to ladies throughout the 19th Century, then one place to look is at the 'Snowshill Collection', some of which are photographed in 'Buttons & Trimmings' by Althea Mackenzie [see The Study for full reference]
Here, she shows not only the choice of ribbons, but also their application on bonnets. See page 44/204 for a Poke Bonnet in leghorn straw, with a wide and similar coloured ribbon to this - simply wonderful! Wide ribbons like this were used not only for streamers, but were pleated and fanned out across the sides and back of the bonnet in the most creative styles.
Here, we have a 'cut-velvet' on ivory silk ribbon, 3.25" wide, the cut velvet square blocks having little tufts of silk strands fanning out from them.
The little blocks of duck egg blue velvet are arranged in pyramid shapes along the length and we can see that the ribbon was deliberately made for bordering, because one of the edges has the tufts overhanging, whilst the other edge has a velvet band with tiny picot ends. Can you imagine a bonnet with such a ribbon?
This is a generous length of approx 70", and I have added a fragment of a different ribbon entirely, but with a matching blue tuft edge. They just have to stay together! This complimentary fragment is very small and added just to make you smile.
As always, please read the condition reprot below.
The condition of the main velvet piece is very good. There is slight discolouration here and there but for such light colours, I would say very good indeed.
The fragment is small and really quite discoloured. Probably not for using but pretty nonetheless.