This unusual Victorian Aesthetic design object was made to hold up the hem of a lady's dress circa 1870 - 1880. It sounds a little risque, but sometimes you preferred those long skirts not to be near water or mud, as is only sensible. In the Aesthetic design popular at the time (and swans certainly were popular), this solid brass clothing accessory clamps the bottom of the lady's dress with the tongs, which are locked in place by the sliding shield-shaped housing. A cord looped through a (now missing) brass loop at the top of the slider is pulled to raise the hem of the floor-length skirt. It has the word PATENT on the tongs, and this unusual item is in excellent original condition with no dents, corrosion, losses, damage or repairs other than the missing loop and some minor bending of the shield edges. All items are thoroughly and conservatively graded and all condition issues are noted; all items are secondhand and may have slight signs of gentle use.
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