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Reminders of how fashion changes
In the course of unpacking, I just came across the mink stole. What the heck am I going to do with this?

Mind, it isn't subtle. It quite vividly crosses the line from "fur" to "a bunch of dead animals".

I suspect that the logic is kind of like why a bow tie is supposed to be a bit messy: if it's imperfect, that shows that it's real and you tied it yourself, instead of being one of those pre-made ones. In this case, the stole is four minks (sort of like particularly furry weasels) that have been taxidermied and sewn together foot-to-mouth. And yes, it has both feet and mouths.

It was probably quite the fashion statement in its day. And I *think* it belonged to Gramdma Supnik, so it's kind of a family heirloom, and I can't just get rid of it. (It's possible that it came down through Jane's family, although it's showier than I'm used to from them.) But I'm honestly unsure whether it's possible to wear it in public nowadays...

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Donate to a theater company?

I can think of a burlesque troupe that would probably make good use of it...

Family gets first dibs, but it's possible. (Heaven knows, Mina's gotten more use out of my tailcoat than I ever did...)

I have a fur stole from Grandma S. also, though not as showy as the one you describe. No feet or mouths attached, thank goodness. The only time I've ever worn it was for a show I was in, where I was supposed to be a high priced madam. :)

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Yeah, I have been wondering about the value...

Is any of the fur coming out or shedding like a cat?

Not that I've noticed -- why?

Because that indicates whether it's in good condition or not. If the fur is falling out at all, that's not a good sign. You can probably find other back-of-the-envelope "how worthwhile is this fur?" online, but that's the only one I know.

Useful to know -- thanks...

Assuming very good to excellent condition, the intertubes seem to think the value is around 200-400$.

http://www.eversoscrumptious.com/2012/11/selling-grandmas-vintage-fur/ (which links to another few sites, although it is unclear if those sites were source material or parallel discussions)

Actually, $35 - $150 I believe ("Full Pelt Mink/Sable/Marten stole (w/heads & feet)"). But that's a useful writeup -- thanks for the pointer...

I have a beautiful mink jacket that I inherited from my grandmother... it's really nice, and looks really good on me, but I really don't know if I'll ever wear it... don't know what to do with it either....

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Possible. I do need to dig out her bequest document (which I only found a couple of months ago), and see if she had anything specific to say about it...

You could have someone (bats eyelashes) incorporate it into trim on another garment if you like that kind of thing. Mink works easily into cuffs and collars and such -- they are narrow little weasels. On a practical basis, the fur is very warm, and a mink collar or cuff has practical merit.

I'll contribute a Vermont farmer joke here:

A posh NYC couple invested in a Vermont mink farm, and after a while decided to go visit the old couple running the place in the Northeast Kingdom they'd invested in.

Wrapped in a fine mink coat, the lady picked her way across the mudseason barnyard, steadied on the arm of her Brooks Brothers clad swain. The old farmer hovered a bit, answering questions about his operations as they approached the mink barn.

In the dim of the evening barn the lady peered into the weasel filled cages, rather startled to see the feral, beady eyed critters focusing on her in the doorway.

Feeling she aught to ask an intelligent question (but obviously strapped for one), she burbled, "So, uh, how many times a year do you get a skin off of these animals, Mr. Hubbard?"

The old man, now stunned, worked for a quick answer. Taking a quick, deep breath he opined, "Well, ma'am, if we skin them more than once a year, it makes them a might nervous..."

Great story! The second wife of my grandfather, who never thought of herself as my grandmother, used to wear such a garment, head-biting-feet minks. It scared me so: I was sure she had killed and skinned the minks herself--and might do so to me if I misbehaved.

shrug. i would certainly wear such a thing with no issue, but i am not sentimental about vermin, which minks are. :P

I suspect your are correct as to the approximate vintage. My grandmother had a very similar piece, complete with heads and feet, but only involving 2 minks. I would guess it to be somewhere between 1930 and 1960.

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