What types of fur were used for the collars of men's overcoats in Edwardian England?
August 1, 2007 3:47 AM   Subscribe

What types of fur were used for the collars of men's overcoats around 1890-1910 in England or the U.S.? Or -- can you recommend a great resource on the history of fur in fashion?

I'm working on a short story set (roughly; it's fantasy) in Edwardian England, and I would like to mention the type of fur used for the collar of a character's coat. I've looked unsuccessfully for the answer in fur association websites, online auction sites, historical costume dictionaries and encyclopedias, and fur trading histories. I've seen some discussion of certain types of furs being used for the clothing of upper, middle, or lower class people, but that has seemed to refer to whole garments. Thanks for any help you can provide!
posted by cupcakeninja to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
The Victoria and Albert Museum has the best collection of historical english clothes. They suggest this fur reading list which may be of help. My girlfriend went on a course there, and got to visit their fur refridgeration facilities. I'm sure one of their experts would be only too keen to advise.
posted by roofus at 4:06 AM on August 1, 2007

I'm assuming beaver fur, especially for men's coats. British Fur Trade Association says beaver was the most popular.
posted by banannafish at 5:26 AM on August 1, 2007

You might want to try asking this on the Vintage Fashion Guild Public Forum as there are some members who are extremely knowledgeable about this era of clothing.
posted by suki at 6:55 AM on August 1, 2007

posted by zadcat at 4:34 PM on August 1, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, folks! I appreciate them very much, and I'll check with the resources you suggested.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:15 PM on August 1, 2007

I'm sure there was a status hierarchy of furs that everybody understood much probably similar to the situation in the Soviet Union when you wanted a fur hat (where mostly you couldn't buy one but they were awarded).
sable -----\fetal lamb -\ > ermine > beaver > racoon > rabbit > cat

posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:52 PM on August 1, 2007

Response by poster: I wouldn't be surprised. One of the costume dictionaries I looked at talked extensively about different classes and who was allowed to wear what.
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:00 AM on August 2, 2007

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