Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Cold hands...

warm heart." ~ V. S. Lean

This  "proverb" has been traced back to Collectanea by V.S. Lean.  Here is the blurb on this collection: "Lean's Collectanea is a vast collection of proverbs, folklores and superstitions acquired over a lifetime by Vincent Stuckey Lean of Bristol (1820--99). Painstakingly collected and researched during Lean's travels on the Continent and throughout Britain, the 5-volume Collectanea is packed with many thousands of entries, helpfully arranged by theme and fully indexed."

Sadly, many of the sayings that have been passed down over the ages are being lost to the world of texting, and today's feature definitely stifles texting!  It is the "muff"!
The muff was introduced into the fashion world in 1570, and it served as a purse and a hand warmer.
 In the 1600s both men and women used them, but by the 19th century women had taken over the market as an essential winter accessory for elegant dress, and they were done in large down muffs to velvet ones that matched the trim on dresses.
The word muff probably comes from the Old French "moufle" which meant thick glove or mitten.  The Dutch have a similar word - "mof" and the Walloon language (Belgium and surroundings) have "mouffe." 
I have a large fur...don't know what fur...muff and a child's muff.  The fashion muff had a revival in the 1940s and 50s...think the child's is probably 1950s, but the large muff is probably Victorian.
I also have some fur collars...all tie in with Anna Karenina...
But, if you see someone with cold hands and no muff, remember this Japanese proverb...
"One kind word can warm three winter months."

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