A further display of just over 100 skirt lifters can be seen at the RAMM (Royal Albert Memorial Museum) in Exeter. The display is in the Collectors’ Cabinet in the Finders Keepers Gallery. The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00.am. to 5.00 p.m. Closed Monday and Bank Holidays. Free Admission.
The Display will continue at the RAMM until the 7th January. For full details of other exhibits, visit www.exeter.gov.uk/ramm
The Skirt Lifter display has a wide variety of base metal and brass scissor type skirt lifters and a number of different skirt lifters with delightful chains, as well as 17th century items and skirt lifters from the Victorian and Edwardian period, including amongst others the Fyfe’s Penny Farthing, The Perfect Holder, The Eureka, Mourning, Children and Art Nouveau Spring Clip Skirt Lifters. Other items include the Surprise Lifter; an Indian and Arts and Crafts items and a boxed Grappler skirt lifter.
A four and a half inch long Victorian base metal ladies’ skirt lifter, c1870s, with crossed tennis rackets and three tennis balls motif, sold at Graham Budd’s Sports Memorabilia sale in early June. It reached an unprecedented price of £3,200, plus 17.5% buyers premium. The battle of bids was between a foreign bidder online and a foreign bidder on the telephone. Both parties desperate to win. Walker believes that this is the highest price paid for a skirt lifter. Quite possibly the tennis interest was more important than the interest in the skirt lifter. The tennis motif is not totally unique, others are known of and have sold at auction before, but not for such an enormous amount.
Page 10 of The Antiques Trade Gazette, 9th June 2018, has an article “Record Skirt lifter rises to the occasion” by Tom Derbyshire. There is also a longer version of the article online for subscribers to the Antiques Trade Gazette antiquestradegazette.com
Fairlynch Museum, 27 Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 6NP
Open Daily from 30th March to 31st October, 2.00 p.m. to 4.30. p.m.
This is a small museum but contains many extremely interesting exhibits. This year it celebrates 400 years of the death of a local hero: Sir Walter Raleigh and a room is devoted to the life of the great Elizabethan with the prize exhibit of Millais’ painting “The Boyhood of Raleigh” from the 28th May until the 31st August. Among the many exhibits are displays of Quilts and Textiles, and interesting information on WW1: Caring for Casualties in local VAD Hospitals.
In the Costume Room displaying 100 years of Devon Weddings is also a cabinet displaying a variety of Skirt Lifters from the 17th century through the Victorian and Edwardian period, including amongst others the Fyfe’s Penny Farthing, The Perfect Holder, The Eureka, Mourning, Children and Art Nouveau Spring Clip Skirt Lifters. Very few skirt lifters are on public display and it is a credit to the museum to exhibit these interesting items of social history.
The Museum is well worth a visit. Entry is free, but donations are always welcome.