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.