An interlude to ask some questions before I put this to one side for completion later in the year: I purchased this little charmer at a vintage fair in the summer, shortly after succumbing to the brown silk one on ebay. This was much more expensive [although still a bargain] and I fell in love with it because of the colour [green being my favourite of course] , the sweet little tassel, and the fact that it tilts to 90 degrees from vertical, allowing a leisurely shading of the face from intrusive passers-by!
The fabric is completely knackered, even worse than the brown one, and although it FEELS like rather grubby nylon, a burn test indicates silk. The handle is painted bamboo and wood, all the mechanisms are in fine order, and only a few of the decorative spoke tips are broken off. I can’t tell if they are plastic or wood, everything is painted, included the ferrule.
There is a metal manufacturer’s tag around one of the spokes,it clearly says ‘ARCUS’. I can find nothing on google, but Mr Wiki informs me that Arcus was the Roman goddess of the rainbow, which has tickled me pink. I think that there is a running dog/hare/some such creature next to it if I zoom in on the photo. It’s too small for me to make out otherwise.
I HAVE A GAY PARASOL! SQUEEEEEEE!
[OMG, I just googled ‘gay parasol’ and found this beauty:]
I’m even happier now…and more rainbow links, as Iris is the GREEK goddess of the rainbow. This project is clearly fated…
This is what I expected when I typed in ‘gay parasol’ btw
Anyway. I’d like to have an idea about the age of this little rainbow delight, and wondered if anyone could help me out.
Here are my photos, sorry the close ups are blurry, they just are!
*UPDATE* Following the suggestion here, I’ve sent an email to see if the museum collection can help me. Meanwhile, on FB, I was pointed at the ‘Victorian Parasol’ page, and asked for help. I’ve found at that it’s called a ‘marquis’ or ‘marquise’ parasol, fashionable in the 1860s in the USA particularly. It seems unlikely if the rib tips are plastic, but if they are bone, it may be considerably older than I thought. I’ve still not been able to find anything about a company called ‘Arcus’ though.
12 thoughts on “Para-gon: another project in the making”
You’ve gotta be kidding? Another one!!
lol It’s been there all along, I only just did the burn test and found the tag though. It’s much smaller, and can’t be such a big job as the other. It’s not on the immediate ‘to-do’ list though. I have to do some SWAP catching up!
You know now what you are doing after completing the other beauty. No idea about the manufacturer and as I’ve never done anything like this I can’t help you. Waiting to see what you do though.
Maybe these people will be able to help with the manufacturer if you contacted them
They seem to have a fair collection though I couldn’t see any reference to ARCUS
I think it looks like plastic, and I would have said 1930s or 1940s, but what do I know. You can do a burn test on the plastic too – bone will smell like hair/wool/silk and plastic will smell like – well you know what plastic smells like!! I am loving your work on parasols – what’s next – a special umbrella for the rain – after all they are much more likely to get used….
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Although they are very beautiful, and collectible, the prices vary too alarmingly for me to get really into it. The minute the seller tags an item as ‘antique’ they heft the price up into the hundreds of pounds. Silly money. I wouldn’t have thought that fabric from the 30s/40s would have rotted so dramatically, but who knows? Apparently the equivalent of the burn test for such small items is to use a hot pin, and sniff…we’ll see!
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yes the hot pin test will do the trick. If it was left outside or in a shed and was damp, or had lots of light on it maybe it would have rotted. Just guessing but I am interested in what you find out!!
I also think this is more likely to be circa 1930s. Maybe 1920s? Is the “plastic” sort of “bakelite” …an early plastic that became popular in the mid-1920s. Re: style…marquis is the shape, it has little to do with the age. (Except that the shape was popular circa Victorian/Civil War era.) Re: manufacturer….I think you may have a French parapluie. There is an old company in France that is still around that makes shoes: Arcus. The company started before 1900, is known for early ski boots/apres ski boots in the 1930s, and now is known for boat shoes. (And other mostly casual styles.) I could find no indication that they made umbrellas…but it strikes me as likely. Send them an email and ask. Curious minds want to know… http://www.arcus.fr/qsn.php
Wonderful- you’re a gem! I will contact them forthwith!
another thing to add…look at this picture of Bakelit colors circa 1925. Does the green look familiar? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakelite#/media/File:Bakelite_color_chart_1924_Gifts_to_Treasure_Embed_Art_Company_Jewel_only.tif
Sort of- but it’s not ‘marbled’ just a plain flat green…
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