A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

POSY HOLDER
TUSSIE MUSSIE

Silver posy holder (silver tussie mussie) is a type of funnel-shaped container for holding a posy (a flowerv or a nosegay), basically intended to be worn attached to a dress. The handle may be of ivory, amber, porcelain, mother-of-pearl. The posy is secured by a pin across the mouth of the funnel and the holder is attached to the dress by a pin or hook.
Some examples have, attached by a chain, a finger-ring for use when held by hand and some are made as a brooch.
In earlier times before sanitation and concerns with personal hygiene, the nosegays were carried to superstitiously ward off disease or to camouflage the unpleasant smells of the street.
Later in the 19th and early 20th centuries they were romanticized as a fashion accessory for young ladies to hold the flowers brought by courting 'gentleman callers'.
young ladies used posy holder to hold the flowers brought by their courting 'gentleman callers'

To show her acceptance of him, she skewered the flowers into the posy holder with a long pin and wore the holder to a ball. Attached to her hand by a chain and a ring, it swung free while they danced.
Posy holder was attached to lady's hand by a chain and a ring

In America this small container used to carry nosegays of sweet smelling flowers or herbs is called 'tussie mussie'.
The name 'tussie' originates from an old English word for a nosegay. The second part refers to the wet moss used to keep the flowers moist.

A common posy holder had a repousse receptacle with fruits, flowers, beads and leaves
posy holder with grapes posy holder with flowers


They were fixed into a metal or carved mother of pearl handle
posy holder with mother of pearl handle
posy holder with metal handle
Other posy holders had the shape of a mesh basket with oak leaves,
posy holders in the shape of a mesh basket with oak leaves

or a cornet shape highly embossed with open work and elaborated designs with leaves and a medallion on the side
posy holder with cornet shape with open workposy holder with elaborated design with leaves and medallionposy holder pierced and embossed with flowers and leaves

Posy holders had also the shape of a brooch for lady's suits
brooch posy holder brooch posy holder brooch posy holder
sometimes of unusual shape such as shoes and horns
shoe brooch posy holder filigree horn brooch posy holder horn brooch posy holder

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