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Corset shield

  • Place of origin:

    Ipswich (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1911-14 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    William Pretty & Son (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton and 'zairoid' metal.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Philip Weston

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    On display at The Frick, Pittsburgh, USA

Physical description

Cotton corset shield with 'zairoid' metal strips.

Place of Origin

Ipswich (made)


ca. 1911-14 (made)


William Pretty & Son (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Cotton and 'zairoid' metal.

Marks and inscriptions

'The 'OKTIS' Shield. / Importe d'Angleterre / Supports en Zairoide / ne rouillant pas. / Le fixer en cousant sur les traits ..... / Ne pas arreter les extremites des baleines'
Stamped in blue on the back and with two star motifs, one on each side


Height: 202 mm, Width: 100 mm

Object history note

Registered File number 1985/2064. One of a pair with T.431-1985.

Descriptive line

Corset shield, made by William Pretty & Son, Ipswich, for export to France ca. 1911-14.

Labels and date

'Double the life of your corsets'

William Pretty & Son, who manufactured the Oktis corset shield, claimed the shield would 'double the life of your corsets'.

The shield was tacked to the inside of the waist of the corset where the bones were most prone to break. Its strength came from strips of 'zairoid', a metal which the manufacturers claimed was rustproof and as flexible as steel.

'Oktis' corset shield made for export to France and packaging fragment
William Pretty & Son
Britain, Ipswich, about 1911-14
Metal ('zairoid') and cotton
V&A: T.431&A-1985
Given by Philip Weston [16/04/2016-12/03/2017]


Metal; Cotton; Material


Accessories; Underwear; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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