M970.25.26.1-2 | Gloves

Émile Bonnet
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
6.2 x 27 cm
Gift of Mrs. Isabel Barclay Dobell
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Glove (23)
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Keys to History

This pair of women's kid gloves was purchased at John Murphy & Co, one of the first department stores in Montreal.

In the late 19th century, etiquette recommended that everyone wear gloves. However, these accessories were particularly important for women, who wore kid gloves for going out and for official functions. Older women sometimes wore net or lace gloves indoors.

Men were always supposed to carry a second pair of gloves since kid gloves were fragile and sometimes it only took a few hours to ruin them. Some manufacturers even offered with each pair a sheet explaining how to put on the gloves with damaging them.

  • What

    The left glove carries the inscription "Le Brevent." This is probably the name of the model of this pair, sold at John Murphy & Co.

  • Where

    The finest kid gloves, such as these, were made in France. At the time, Montreal even had its store for well-known brands, "The Paris Glove Store."

  • When

    Gloves were one of the first fashion accessories to carry the manufacturer's trademark.

  • Who

    The name "Émile Bonnet" is printed inside the left glove. This is no doubt the name of the craftsman who made this pair of gloves.