c1901-1910 Edwardian Accessories

By  Support
Categories: Accessories |
Hat pins, lace fan, silver belt, hair combs, gloves and box and ostrich fan












The Edwardian era brought fresh ideas to fashion and to its accessories. As well as elaborate hats and beautiful parasols the era saw new belts, new plastic carved hair combs, decorated gloves and fans. 

Many items were made from celluloid, a type a plastic invented in the mid-1800s.  Celluloid could be made to look like ivory, bone or tortoiseshell etc. It was inexpensive, easy to work with and durable when new. Many lady’s accessories including jewellery could be made from celluloid and thus these items became affordable to the masses. 














Hat pins in a ceramic hat pin holder

During the Edwardian period it became fashionable for women to grow their hair long so it could be put up into enormous hairstyles. This was coupled with elaborately decorated, large hats. To keep both the hairstyles and hats in place, large hat pins were used. As the styles grew, so did the hatpins, some even reaching over 35cms long. These fashion items could also be used as a convenient weapon of self-defence! By the end of the Edwardian period countries began introducing laws limiting the length of hat pins and in Australia fines were imposed on those wearing dangerous hatpins.












A machine made lace fan with celluloid staves. The centre features a panel of hand painted blue flowers on a cream silk background. The whole fan is covered in tiny silver sequins of different shapes-stars, circles, ovals.












Filigree silver belt- a delicate belt made from fine, pliable threads of precious metal which are twisted or curled into a design and then soldered onto (or into) a piece of jewellery. This belt has sections linked together and fastens with a large flat hook at the front.












Celluloid hair combs

Combs were both decorative and functional with two-three needed to keep the Edwardian lady’s large hairstyles in place. New plastic materials were replacing the traditional ivory, bone, tortoiseshell and horn. Celluloid and Xylonite were not only cheap, but easy to mould and could be produced in various colours.

11e Gloves and box closed       










11e Gloves and box 










Glove box, stretcher, gloves 

Kid gloves decorated with gold leather cord in cross stitching on the back of the hand, with cut-out tear-drop shapes in gold leather with similar crosses, on the cuffs. 

Gloves were worn everywhere by the Edwardian lady. Gloves were a protection against disease and were worn to cover up the body. They were never removed unless a lady was eating or responding to nature. The length of the glove depended on the sleeve length of the garment being worn. During the day kid leather, suede or cotton lisle were worn in mid forearm lengths. They were tight fitting, thin and buttoned from the wrist to the top of the glove. Many had fine embroidery. The gloves were mainly white, ivory or cream. Evening gloves in kid leather, suede or silk were longer, with between 12-20 buttons. 

Glove stretchers were widely used during this period due to the popularity of kid leather gloves. These gloves were very tight fitting and the wearer needed aid from this device before they could be put on. The narrow end of the glove stretcher was placed into a glove finger and then by squeezing the handle the glove finger was stretched further apart. These stretchers were also useful in maintaining the overall shape of the kid gloves after they had been washed.

Glove boxes were used to store a lady’s gloves. This wooden box is covered with a thin embossed sheet of celluloid.












An ostrich feather fan with celluloid staves. An ostrich feather fan was a mark of wealth, as they could be as expensive as a lady’s jewels. The fashion item became most popular in the late 19th century and by 1900 plumes from wild ostriches were replaced by feathers harvested from birds raised solely for their feathers on farms in South America, California and Australia.