By the beautiful sea, a splendid offering of a child's parasol, from the late Victorian era, with delightful scenes of children playing by the seashore. Printed on blue cotton, muslin-like fabric, children are featured at the of edge of the top and bottom of the fabric.
Beautiful finished wooden handle with an incised area near the bottom, dabbled with sponge paint. Eight metal sticks, hold the seams of eight cloth panels. Each of the eight panels are the same seashore scene. At the center of the fabric, small figures of crabs, fish and starfish are scattered about.
Parasol is in working order, although as noticed, the threads to secure the fabric at one of the sticks has broken, leaving the fabric detached and slightly damaged at the seam. The parasol still opens and closes, however, the fabric is tightly stretched at this point. Possibly over time, the fabric has shrunk somewhat.
Size: Length from top tip to bottom of the handle is 26-1/2"long. Diameter when open is 25" . As noted in some of the photos, the parasol does have a curvature.
Condition: A few small holes (minor) in the fabric and as I noted, the broken threads on one panel. Also, few small oxidation spots.
I have read articles regarding the small size parasol, being not necessarily a child's, but may have been used by a lady riding in a carriage. She would want something to block the sun, but not so large to hamper her view. I am sure this is a true statement, however, on the other hand, I feel some small parasols were actually used by children. Case in point would be this small parasol, with its decidedly motif of children engaged in activities near the seashore. Certainly one that could have been carried by a young girl for a summer stroll, perhaps even on the broad walk.
The fabric is blue cotton print with figures of children playing, much as the fabric of cotton handkerchiefs of the day. I am not aware of any history of this type of fabric used for parasols, however,I would love to learn more. The cotton parasol certainly is not a fancy one of silk, satin and razzle dazzle but, still, one to delight the eyes. In my opinion, a bit unusual.