Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Reader Question: What to Do With An Inherited Fur Coat? Or Antique Ivory?

Original Photograph from SWNE Archives

A reader question:
I've inherited a fur coat. Is it still preppy to wear fur? Is it better to be political correct and just sell it?

Similarly, this antique ivory necklace has never been worn since passed down.

57 comments:

  1. I'm in the same boat. Inherited a beautiful fur. While I would never have bought one for myself, I would like to wear it occasionally. But, I don't think I could safely do so in San Francisco and, further, almost no one out here in California ever gets that dressed up!

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  2. A nice way to make sure it didn't just sit in some closet, would be to donate it to a favorite theater's costume department. I wouldn't wear fur.

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  3. A friend of mine also inherited a beautiful fur coat that she would never wear - she took it to a furrier who took it apart and pieced it back together as a throw. It's amazing now! On cold winter nights, she gets to use it in her home but doesn't have to worry about being PC.

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  4. Inherited my mother's alligator purse. It sits in my closet, along with her Gucci purse. I can't see myself carrying these, but hate to sell, toss or donate them. Guess what you should do with them is what feels like the right thing to you.

    Agree with Stephanie about furs in San Francisco, made me chuckle just to think about it.

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    1. If you are afraid of the alligator being extinct, stop your worry. We are starting to be overrun by them in the South.

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    2. It's not that, particularly, just not my style. I'm more of a Vera Bradly toe person. Good to know about the alligators, though.

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  5. I wouldn't wear fur either. Being PC may or not may be the correct term for this discussion, but I think bringing to light the atrocities behind the animal trade has changed many people's mind. In prior decades, no one ever thought about it, but now knowing what takes place has turned many people away from wearing fur, ivory, or any such use. I'm not passing judgment, only giving an opinion. I would not verbally say something to someone who chooses to wear it, but many people would.

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  6. I like the earlier suggestion to repurpose fur into a useful form if it doesn't contain special memories as is - but would never recommend changing jewelry that way. If you have pictures of loved ones wearing the furs or ivory of these examples but don't plan to wear them, fur garments may be preserved in a display box and ivory protected in similar fashion. Preserve the photos away from light and keep with the pictured items. Your grandchildren can show them on "Antiques Roadshow" in fifty years. :)

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  7. Wear the fur or have it made into something you will wear or use like a muff, cape or a throw. Not using it is a waste. For those people concerned about animal abuse well it is time you live in the real world. A part from a very few people who live in the country and grow their own free range / organic food the rest of the world exists because of farm raised eggs, chicken, pork, mutton, lamb, beef, and even fish. If we truly want a more compassionate world then stop over consuming and use what we have, reuse it, donate it or recycle it. Perhaps, it is right not to purchase a new fur but, not wearing the one you already have is not going to save an animal.

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    1. A fur coat is created and purchased exclusively to make the woman wearing it appear rich, prosperous, and fashionable. Period. It has no other practical purpose. The people concerned about not wearing it in public for whatever reason are right on the money. The repurposing the coat as a throw idea from Anon 10:00 a.m. is excellent. On the other hand, telling people concerned about animal abuse that it's time they "live in the real world" is sort of ugly. If your rationale is "not wearing the one you have is not going to save an animal," then you're the last person anyone should listen to about making "a more compassionate world."

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    2. Fur will keep you warm like nothing else. If you're' lucky enough to live where chilly winds blow - wear fur!

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    3. Right, because in 1817, keeping warm is such a difficult and challenging task that people need to kill the original owners of the fur to make their own warmth possible. Oh wait, sorry...I meant 2017.

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    4. Nowadays we wear skins of fur-bearing animals who are raised on Devonshire cream and expire naturally. Thank you.

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  8. My grandmother had many beaded necklaces, made my Native Canadians, from the 20s and 30s. I would love to wear one of the chokers but sadly it has a Swastika on it! No, my grandmother wasn't a Nazi; the symbol originated from Asia and was meant to signify good luck. The Nazi party appropriated the symbol in the 30s. So I have it stuffed in a drawer and shudder every time I see it. I supposed I should just throw it out.

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    1. I wouldn't throw it out. I wouldn't wear it, but I would keep it as a memory of your grandmother and the individual who created it. That person surely wasn't a Nazi, and their handiwork deserves preserving.

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  9. It is always appropriate to dispose of any item that makes you uncomfortable owning it! Just get rid of it. As for furs, give them a decent burial. Really, we have evolved to that extent at least.

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    1. Oh Stop it with the PC theme . It's just a way of trying to control people that one does not agree with .

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    2. I agree. If we are truly compassionate then we wouldn't eat meat, fish or foul nor wear leather anything or use mother of pearl, wear pearls, and so forth. The PC thing has gotten out of hand and no I don't support clubbing baby seals but, there is a limit.

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    3. I personally don't believe in being PC, because I think it's ultimately dishonest. I do believe in good manners, and treating others as you would like to be treated. So I will respectfully keep my opinions to myself if I see anyone wearing fur, or any other tacky article.

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  10. It's not worth risking getting assaulted by a nong throwing red paint over you, Muffy.

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    1. The nong would be the brainless, out-of-date twit wearing the fur coat in the first place.

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    2. Freedom of choice is never inappropriate; no call for insults.

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    3. Some of the silliest and most tone-deaf buffoonery in human history are the result of "freedom of choice." So yeah, no, sorry. It's often inappropriate.

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  11. I'm just glad the righteous, tolerant folk haven't taken to throwing paint on my leather shoes and boots. Unfortunately, not everyone considers civility the supreme social virtue.

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    1. Given that wearing a fur coat in public in 2017 is almost the definition of reality show-level vulgarity and crassness, no one really listens to the silly little people whining about "civility" as an argument against protesters. On the other hand, anyone who thinks "civility" is "the supreme social virtue" never really understood social virtues in the first place.

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    2. I beg your pardon...I happen to be in the business of teaching civility, and I don't consider myself silly, and I do understand social virtues. You might want to check out P.M. Forni's book, "Choosing Civility." Social virtues are so closely related to moral virtues that they are practically indistinguishable. Civility happens to be a basic value of social life - it forestalls unpleasantness with others that would otherwise turn nasty, even dangerous. Social virtues include: kindness, generosity, honesty, respectfulness, courteousness, cleanliness, forgiveness, etc. Protesting aside, I don't see where casting insults at others fits the bill in any way shape or form. And, I'm just wondering - will it be okay for me to wear my down parka this winter?

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    3. The entire issue of wearing fur is related to moral virtues. If you can't understand that, you're really more of an etiquette fetishist, aren't you. I do hope your "civility classes" are offered for free, or at least come with a money-back guarantee.

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    4. Good question and I am now concerned about how my leather shoes and handbags may appear to others. Perhaps I need to cancel that trip to San Francisco as well out of fear of being inappropriate! PA

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    5. "Given that wearing a fur coat in public in 2017 is almost the definition of reality show-level vulgarity and crassness,"

      Have you visited any truly cold climates? The stores in Quebec are full of furs for everyday wear.

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    6. I like the idea of civility as a social virtue. And I don't think I'm a "silly little" person especially because I am also occasionally a protester.

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  12. In my opinion, fur and ivory aren't equivalent. The hunting of elephants to near extinction is on an entirely different, extremely troubling level.

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  13. What a lot of huffing and puffing! Surely folks can make their own intelligent decision when and where it is appropriate to wear so called NOT PC attire based on where they live, company they keep and personal conviction. Personally, would love to have a new alligator handbag. As for San Francisco this relocated San Francisco lass would not be concerned about carrying the handbag downtown even though the city is hardly as it was "way back when". Sad to say. PA

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  14. I have a faux and a real (inherited) fur coat; I wear both without trepidation. In 2017 if anyone wants to kill an animal for their fur they should have their head examined – there is no need. My faux and authentic fur can be interchanged and no one would be the wiser. I wear the real fur when it’s cold enough outside; and wear the faux too (though I prefer the faux style). My feeling for the real fur is that an animal (regrettably) had its life taken away many years ago, and I feel honored that it provides me with warmth. I will wear it till it falls apart and I can’t repurpose it. I will not buy a real fur coat. I bought my faux because it was beautiful. We can pay homage to the amazing beauty of a creature without terminating its life by using our 21st century technology. I feel the same way about tortoise combs, ivory, etc. Of course, there are individuals who think price tag/elusiveness lends objects cache, and by association makes them important as individuals – I bet if polyester was the most expensive fabric in the world, they would go for that.

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    1. Very well said.

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    2. Agree. Very well said.

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    3. There are farms where Mink etc are raised for their fur and humanely euthanized . The same goes for Chickens , Sheep , Goats , Beef cattle . Etc Etc . Elephants and Snow leopards and etc are rare and not easily replaced so no they should not be slaughtered .This does not mean that I'm going to despise of my fifteenth century ivory statue from China .

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  15. I inherited a beautiful mink coat and was gifted a beaver coat in the 1980's and in that 1980's overdone style, ie huge shoulders! Nothing is warmer than a fur coat. Neither fit my lifestyle anymore and I donated them to a historic house museum for their displays - they were happy to receive and I was happy to no longer have to place in storage for 9 months of the year. I had no qualms about wearing either coat, but I never wanted cared if I had a fur coat or not.


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  16. Oh my, I have the same exact necklace with matching earrings. I don't wear them as they are just not my own style. I also inherited a mink coat and a mink stole. I used both pieces of mink to make a warm throw. I will pass all of these pieces down to the next generation to use, or not, as they see fit. Jane Keller

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  17. Thank you for the entertaining read! Snark, insults, righteousness or should I say moral superiority! I'm sitting here in Florida, where I definitely don't wear fur, reading this because the school I teach at has been closed to prep it in case it needs to be opened for a shelter. I have my supplies and have helped neighbors and extended family with their preparations so we are sitting around drinking coffee and reading these comments. We could be facing impending doom this weekend and are entertaining ourselves with this post. Feels a little surreal.

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    1. Oh, yeah and Anon's posts gave me a laugh too :D

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    2. Yes, all snark aside, good luck, Jerrold. We are all watching, hoping, and praying for the best for FL. My daughter and grandchildren just survived Harvey with house intact. They evacuated to family in New Orleans and were worried about their home, but all is well. I hope the best for you and all Floridians.

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    3. Continual prayers and well wishes are with you there in Florida, Jerrold, and all those effected by Harvey. Stay safe and keep up your good work in helping others.

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    4. Prayers and hopes for best outcomes to you in Florida. Am watching the weather reports coming in; fingers crossed for our friends & relatives in the area, and our SWNE community participants.

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    5. We are praying for you here in SE Texas. I had 51 inches of rain at my house and was evacuated a week ago. We were lucky and had very minimal damage.

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  18. FYI: PETA accepts old furs for several reasons: https://www.peta.org/donate/ways-to-support-peta/donate-fur/

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    1. Checked out the website. Apparently PETA gives donated fur coats to homeless people because they are the only ones who "have the right" to wear them. Why does being homeless grant you a right? I think the Human Society donation is better.

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    2. Our church makes "ugly" quilts for the homeless simply because a quilt would get stolen if it was beautiful. A beautiful fur coat seems like a good intention but a bit shortsighted if it puts the homeless at risk for theft.

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  19. Wear it if you like it or donate it. I believe this is still true:
    If you'd like to claim a tax deduction mail your fur directly to The Humane Society of the United States, Attn: Coats for Cubs, 2100 L St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037. Once donated, used furs will provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife.

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    1. Love this! Did not know that. Thank you, James. Tax deduction or not, it's a wonderful thought about the bedding.

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    2. This is a great idea, thanks for sharing! I would let my goldens lay on my coats - they looked quite smug when doing so. The lab wanted nothing to do with them,

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  20. I am in Texas and fur coats are too warm except for maybe once a year...wear it! But I hunt and eat what I shoot.
    If you have stopped wearing leather or eating meat I see your dilemma, but if you are having a steak tonight, why not enjoy the jacket.

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  21. Heh.
    You knew this was going to happen, didn't you...
    - Charlie

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  22. Well, it was that kind of year. And there I was with a fur coat, which I wore, actually, just for fun. Not even for fancy occasions.

    But, then, I don't know what it was, I just gave it to a collection for the poor. And that was that.

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  23. As I stated earlier... It's not worth the fuss to get some animal rights warrior giving you grief ( and a free paint job ), so unless you're an Inuit ( they get a pass, apparently ) living in Artic conditions, it's best to give it a pass.

    I wonder how successful they are discussing their views to bikers and cowboys for the leather gear they wear ?

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