Dating antique parasols specialty online dating sites
The maximum shaft length of up to 115 cm was reached around 1910-1915, when they went up to breast level of an average-height lady of the time. Until well into the 20th centry, bent handles as we know them from umbrellas were not used for parasols: Straight handles were predominant and more or less made up the distinction between parasol and umbrella, along with the cover, which tended to be black and undecorated for umbrellas, and the length/diameter ratio, which was about 1/1 for parasols and closer to 1/2 for umbrellas.
A propos umbrellas: I was told (or read, I don't remember) once that the first one was used in London in the 1790s and created quite a stir.
Long fringes, a foldable shaft or a pagoda shape are also typical for the mid-19th century. The latter varieties - with metal spokes - can still be found on flea markets.
When shopping for parasols, the most important thing is the condition of the spokes: They must be straight, free of corrosion except for some superficial rust, the joints must be functional, all of the tips present and the stoppers along the shaft present and functional.
Should you use it, thus exposing it to further degradation?
That is a question that every re-enactor has to answer for themselves.
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A few years ago, I thought that shoes - being hidden under skirts- were hard to research, but I have found that despite their potential visibility, parasols are even more difficult.
I have yet to find a trustworthy source on the subject.
As a rule of thumb, spokes made of whalebone point to an early, pre-1850s period, i.e. A very long shaft, combined with a very small diameter and whalebone spokes points to the early 19th century.
An overall small parasol with whalebone spokes would be mid-19th century or slightly earlier. If the shaft is up to 90 cm long, the spokes made of metal and with a U-shaped cross-section, I would date it to the late 19th century; if the shaft is longer, it would probably be of the early 20th century, up to 1920.