Many of Emily Tinne’s coats and other outdoor garments are made of fur. There are some exceptions, like the cream wool coat of about 1912, with its striking velvet and silk braid decoration, and the beautifully embroidered black coat of about 1925-30. There are also several wool coats, like the maroon-coloured one shown here, that are heavily trimmed with fur.
Some of the most popular furs worn during the 1920s and 1930s can be seen here; rabbit, seal, mink, beaver and moleskin, as well as the more exotic antelope. Emily had other examples in her wardrobe, including squirrel, sable, fox and Persian lamb. Real fur was widely used in fashionable dress during the 1920s and 1930s. Unlike today there was no debate about the ethics of using fur in clothing.
Despite having a wide range of expensive fur coats, she hardly ever wore any of them. Her family believe that she bought many of them during the Depression, so that Liverpool’s poorly-paid shop assistants could receive the much-needed commission on the sale.
Emily’s evening capes, like her evening dresses, reveal her taste for the glamorous. Some of them, like the black velvet rabbit fur-trimmed creation (not illustrated here), would have suited a Hollywood star of the time.
An English lady's wardrobe
New exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, 25 October 2019 to 1 March 2020
Don't miss An English lady's wardrobe - our biggest ever exhibition of the Tinne collection, featuring new insights into the family and exploring shopping and style in Liverpool during the interwar years.