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When Wearing Fur Was De Rigueur in London (1900 – 1950)

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For most of the 20th Century wearing fur was de rigueur in London. Animal pelts were very much the go, worn as birthright – expensive skins handed down through bloodlines. Luxurious, sensual, warm, comforting, stylish, organic, exciting, erotic, practical, natural, ancient (get a load of those naked ape fashions) and cruel. Towards the end of the 20th Century it became unacceptable to wear fur. People who never wore fur loudly protested against the wearing of it. They decided it was morally wrong. Their prejudice held sway. Fur was out of fashion. But – admit it – pulling on a fur coat makes your skin tingle.

In this album we’ll look at furs in London 1900-1950.

 

22nd November 1932: Lady Pamela Smith, the Countess of Jersey and the Countess of Birkenhead attend the state opening ceremony at the Houses of Parliament, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

22nd November 1932: Lady Pamela Smith, the Countess of Jersey and the Countess of Birkenhead attend the state opening ceremony at the Houses of Parliament, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

15th November 1936: G E C Martin and R O Shuttleworth wearing winter coats before a race in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

15th November 1936: G E C Martin and R O Shuttleworth wearing winter coats before a race in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

26th April 1950: A woman worker at the Alaska Fur works in Bermondsey, London, where skins are prepared, feels the texture of a 'phantom' beaver fur coat worn by a mannequin during a lunch time fashion parade. The coat costs about ?32. (Photo by Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

26th April 1950: A woman worker at the Alaska Fur works in Bermondsey, London, where skins are prepared, feels the texture of a ‘phantom’ beaver fur coat worn by a mannequin during a lunch time fashion parade. The coat costs about ?32. (Photo by Fred Morley/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

3rd November 1937: Preparing Ophelia, a silver fox bred on a fur farm, for judging at the Royal Agricultural Hall, London, using a vacuum cleaner. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

3rd November 1937: Preparing Ophelia, a silver fox bred on a fur farm, for judging at the Royal Agricultural Hall, London, using a vacuum cleaner. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

23rd March 1918: Mrs Mathieson and Lady Headfont at the Queen's Club tennis courts. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

23rd March 1918: Mrs Mathieson and Lady Headfont at the Queen’s Club tennis courts. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

1st July 1932: A woman shows her ticket to a doorman for the first night of the play 'Fanfare' at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images)

1st July 1932: A woman shows her ticket to a doorman for the first night of the play ‘Fanfare’ at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images)

circa 1937: A family in the back of an aircraft looking out of the windows. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

circa 1937: A family in the back of an aircraft looking out of the windows. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

18th April 1913: British socialist leader George Lansbury and his wife arrive at Bow Street court, London, amidst a crowd of onlookers. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

18th April 1913: British socialist leader George Lansbury and his wife arrive at Bow Street court, London, amidst a crowd of onlookers. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

2nd January 1946: Experts sorting and grading 'Eskimo Bay' wild mink furs on show at the Hudson's Bay Company, Beaver Hall, London. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

2nd January 1946: Experts sorting and grading ‘Eskimo Bay’ wild mink furs on show at the Hudson’s Bay Company, Beaver Hall, London. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

3rd November 1937: Judging a class of silver foxes, bred for their furs, at the Royal Agricultural Hall, London. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

3rd November 1937: Judging a class of silver foxes, bred for their furs, at the Royal Agricultural Hall, London. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

28th March 1936: A man confronts a woman in a train carriage, in a scene from the play 'Her Last Adventure', at the Ambassador's Theatre, London. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images)

28th March 1936: A man confronts a woman in a train carriage, in a scene from the play ‘Her Last Adventure’, at the Ambassador’s Theatre, London. (Photo by Sasha/Getty Images)

circa 1916: Actress Unity More at Selfridges, London, helping the war effort. More retired from the stage in 1915. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1916: Actress Unity More at Selfridges, London, helping the war effort. More retired from the stage in 1915. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1st October 1946: Canadian Lynx skins being shown to buyers at the auction in London which has become the centre of the world's fur trade once again since the war ended. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1st October 1946: Canadian Lynx skins being shown to buyers at the auction in London which has become the centre of the world’s fur trade once again since the war ended. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

30th August 1928: Mexican actress Dolores del Rio at the door of her railway carriage at Victoria Station, London, en route for the Continent. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

30th August 1928: Mexican actress Dolores del Rio at the door of her railway carriage at Victoria Station, London, en route for the Continent. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

1921: A model posing on a roof-top and wearing a ruched-waist suit from Burberry's, London, with fur collar and gauntlet gloves. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

1921: A model posing on a roof-top and wearing a ruched-waist suit from Burberry’s, London, with fur collar and gauntlet gloves. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

A woman reading a copy of the 'Suffragette' magazine on an open-top London bus. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

A woman reading a copy of the ‘Suffragette’ magazine on an open-top London bus. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

15th April 1937: Child film actress Binkie Stuart hand in hand with a penguin during a visit to London Zoo. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

15th April 1937: Child film actress Binkie Stuart hand in hand with a penguin during a visit to London Zoo. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1928: A young woman with the latest in fur fashion, which is to carry the whole stuffed fur of the animal. They give a lifelike effect and are said to be particularly useful as motoring muffs. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

1928: A young woman with the latest in fur fashion, which is to carry the whole stuffed fur of the animal. They give a lifelike effect and are said to be particularly useful as motoring muffs. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)

November 1948: Seventeen year old film star Elizabeth Taylor goes window shopping in London the first time she has been in the city since she was three. (Photo by George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

November 1948: Seventeen year old film star Elizabeth Taylor goes window shopping in London the first time she has been in the city since she was three. (Photo by George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

12th december 1938: Ankle length fur bootees worn by Gerd and Turid Bjornstad, champion skating sisters of Norway to keep their feet warm while awaiting their turn at ice-skating championships at Wembley. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

12th december 1938: Ankle length fur bootees worn by Gerd and Turid Bjornstad, champion skating sisters of Norway to keep their feet warm while awaiting their turn at ice-skating championships at Wembley. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

30th July 1934: Experts examining the Siberian linx furs on show at the Hudson's Bay Company's Beaver Hall auction, London. (Photo by E. Phillips/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

30th July 1934: Experts examining the Siberian linx furs on show at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Beaver Hall auction, London. (Photo by E. Phillips/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

April 1929: Fur coats and accessories hang outside a fur stall in Berwick Street Market, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

April 1929: Fur coats and accessories hang outside a fur stall in Berwick Street Market, London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1910: An advertisement for furriers, Swan & Edgar's of Regent Street, showing a selection of fur stoles, matching muffs, and children's coats and hats. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1910: An advertisement for furriers, Swan & Edgar’s of Regent Street, showing a selection of fur stoles, matching muffs, and children’s coats and hats. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

At the fur-bearing animals exhibition in London, a woman tries to pick up a Nutria by its tail. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

At the fur-bearing animals exhibition in London, a woman tries to pick up a Nutria by its tail, 1933. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

10th November 1949: Actor John Le Mesurier (1912 - 1983) and actress Hattie Jacques (1924 - 1980) leaving the registry office, Kensington, London, after their wedding ceremony. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

10th November 1949: Actor John Le Mesurier (1912 – 1983) and actress Hattie Jacques (1924 – 1980) leaving the registry office, Kensington, London, after their wedding ceremony. (Photo by George W. Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1911: A nursemaid sits with her two young charges, who are dressed in pale fur-trimmed coats, hats and gloves, next to a pram and two dogs in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

1911: A nursemaid sits with her two young charges, who are dressed in pale fur-trimmed coats, hats and gloves, next to a pram and two dogs in Hyde Park, London. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

American silent film actress Phyllis Gordon (1889 - 1964) window-shopping in Earls Court, London with her four-year-old cheetah who was flown to Britain from Kenya. (Photo by B C Parade/Getty Images)

American silent film actress Phyllis Gordon (1889 – 1964) window-shopping in Earls Court, London, 1939, with her four-year-old cheetah who was flown to Britain from Kenya. (Photo by B C Parade/Getty Images)

June 1925: A crowd watch the Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

June 1925: A crowd watch the Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

30th November 1943: East London firemen sorting skins while a woman tries on a fur coat made of rabbit skins to be displayed at the London Fire Forces 'Off the Ration' Exhibition, in aid of children in Russia. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

30th November 1943: East London firemen sorting skins while a woman tries on a fur coat made of rabbit skins to be displayed at the London Fire Forces ‘Off the Ration’ Exhibition, in aid of children in Russia. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

16th November 1936: American opera singer Marian Anderson (1897 - 1993), the first black singer to perform at the New York Metropolitan Opera House, on her arrival in London for a concert at the Queen's Hall. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

16th November 1936: American opera singer Marian Anderson (1897 – 1993), the first black singer to perform at the New York Metropolitan Opera House, on her arrival in London for a concert at the Queen’s Hall. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

circa 1925: Shoppers on Regent Street in London. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

circa 1925: Shoppers on Regent Street in London. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

2nd November 1942: Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962), the wife of American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, visiting a Women's Voluntary Service nursery in Regents Park. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

2nd November 1942: Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962), the wife of American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, visiting a Women’s Voluntary Service nursery in Regents Park. (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

March 1914: Lena Ashwell with Eva Moore and Mary McArthur after her address to strikers at Millwall. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

March 1914: Lena Ashwell with Eva Moore and Mary McArthur after her address to strikers at Millwall. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

27th January 1927: The worker for the London Division of the British Red Cross Society and Saint Johns Ambulence, Lady Mountbatten (1901 - 1960), with the American, Stephen Sanford, at the Newbury Steeplechases. (Photo by W. G. Phillips/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

27th January 1927: The worker for the London Division of the British Red Cross Society and Saint Johns Ambulence, Lady Mountbatten (1901 – 1960), with the American, Stephen Sanford, at the Newbury Steeplechases. (Photo by W. G. Phillips/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Esmond Cecil Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere (1898 - 1978), the chairman of Associated Newspapers welcomes English actress Anna Neagle (1904 - 1986) and her husband, director-producer Herbert Wilcox (1892 - 1977) to the Daily Mail National Film Awards or Silver Stars at the Dorchester Hotel, 30th April 1947. Lord Rothermere and his wife are on the left. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Esmond Cecil Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere (1898 – 1978), the chairman of Associated Newspapers welcomes English actress Anna Neagle (1904 – 1986) and her husband, director-producer Herbert Wilcox (1892 – 1977) to the Daily Mail National Film Awards or Silver Stars at the Dorchester Hotel, 30th April 1947. Lord Rothermere and his wife are on the left. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1929: Actors, actresses and members of a film crew at a night cafe in London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

1929: Actors, actresses and members of a film crew at a night cafe in London. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)