A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER AND OBJECTS OF VERTU

silver posy holder (tussie mussie)


silver posy holder
or tussie mussie This is a silver posy holder in the form of a basket of leaves and flowers fixed into a carved mother-of-pearl handle.
It has a glass opening suitable for holding an oval miniature. It has part of the original chain lacking of the rod fixing the bouquet in place.
The posy holder is a lady's accessory in silver or other metal, resembling a small vase. 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'. 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.
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.
This posy holder is unmarked but it is of European origin (Continental) and dates from the mid-Nineteenth century.
It is 5 in. wide (cm. 12,5), while the "basket" measures slightly over 1 1/2 in. across (cm.4) and was bought from an Italian dealer in an Antique Market.

This item is not for sale, but most of my pieces were bought through the Internet. On the right bar of this page there are some links to silver and antique dealers websites
silver posy holder
or tussie mussiesilver posy holder
or tussie mussiesilver posy holder
or tussie mussie
silver posy holder
or tussie mussie

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This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...

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