victorian ear

Daguerreotype portrait of an unidentified woman posing with books probably taken by a photographer in the United States, c. 1840′s/1850′s.

Source: Library of Congress.

A Victorian ear trumpet for use during periods of mourning. Before the invention of modern hearing aids, ear trumpets were used by people who suffered from hearing loss. Normal ear trumpets were made of metal, but strict rules of mourning prohibited clothes or accessories which were deemed too gaudy. A metal ear-trumpet would be shiny and attract attention. This one has been specially made with black silk covering and lace details to suit the sombre occasion.