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Skirt grips

Skirt grips

  • Place of origin:

    London (patented)

  • Date:

    1902 (patented)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brendel, B. O. (patented by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oxidised brass, with cast decorative elements and spring mechanism

  • Credit Line:

    Given by G. Hay Murray

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 123, case 7 []

Object Type
Skirt grips helped deal with full skirts and long trains in the ballroom. They helped to protect fabrics such as silk and satin which could not easily be washed. Women also used them to keep the hems of their dresses clean when playing sports or out walking.

Design & Designing
Patents helped market ingenious new devices. Many skirt holders had names such as 'Bicycle', 'Eureka', 'The Grappler', 'Invincible', 'The Automatic' to help the average customer who might find it difficult to describe a special grip. B.O. Brendel took out the patent for these skirt grips on 12 April 1902. They were recorded as 'dress suspenders'. An abstract accompanying the patent explains the relationship between the clips, chains and plate and states that the skirt may be 'held at any height'. There are also two drawings.

Ownership & Use
This pair of skirt holders was probably used for outdoor exercise. The serrated edges of the clips could have been only been used on heavy woollen fabrics, as the teeth would have torn more delicate materials. The dagger-shaped piece of metal at the top would have been inserted into the belt or waistband to keep the skirt grips in place.

Physical description

Patent Skirt Grip; oxidised brass with cast decorative elements & spring mechanism; The grip consists of a clip, a chain and a dagger-shaped piece of metal. The holder has a scroll design with a bird in a heart-shaped compartment. This device is repeated on the dagger.

Place of Origin

London (patented)


1902 (patented)


Brendel, B. O. (patented by)

Materials and Techniques

Oxidised brass, with cast decorative elements and spring mechanism

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed: Patent No. 8599 Regd. No. 385195


Height: 16 cm, Width: 3.5 cm, Depth: 2 cm

Object history note

Patent taken out by B.O. Brendel of Hampstead, London

Descriptive line

Skirt holders (patented)

Labels and date

British Galleries:
These grips prevented skirts trailing in the dirt, as they allowed the wearer to raise them off the ground. Manufacturers produced them in their thousands and competed to invent more attractive and efficient designs. These grips were probably used with heavy woollen fabrics worn for outdoor exercise, as the teeth would have torn more delicate materials. [27/03/2003]






Fashion; Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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