For young ladies to hold flowers brought by courting gentlemen callers. They were a popular gift and carried by matrons, debutantes, and girls.By the 1830s, using decorative holders to contain these small bouquets became an established fashion trend. The posy holders were created to keep delicate and expensive silk dresses and other pieces of clothing protected from water droplets when wearing a tussie mussie. The floral bouquet was pinned into the holder, and then for a formal occasion would be suspended from her hand using a chain so that she was free to dance. A "tussie" is a nosegay, a small group of flowers held together in a little bouquet and that was held at nose level, and "mussie" refers to the moss that was moistened and put around the stems of the flowers to keep them from wilting.
Wonderful sterling tussie mussie with cast cup featuring bows and swags. The carved bone handle has some discoloration. It measures 4 7/8" tall and 1 7/8" diameter. It dates from the 1920's.
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