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The Finishing Touch

Women's accessories, 1830-1940 |

Painted fan with mother of pearl sticks, 1840 - 1860 Hat made of horsehair, silk and swan feathers, 1909 - 1914 Suede shoes with wedge sole. Made by Russell and Bromley, London, 1939 Fashion plate from about 1900 Humorous cartoon from 'Punch' magazine, 22nd September 1855 Cover of 'Weldon's Ladies' Journal', 1934

 27 May - 11 December 2011

Free admission

This fascinating exhibition looks at a dazzling array of women's accessories that helped to add a touch of sparkle to fashionable outfits. The items on display range from when Queen Victoria was a girl up to the outbreak of the Second World War.

All of the 60 bags, shoes, hats, gloves and other accessories are from National Museums Liverpool's collections and many have never displayed before.

Highlights include:

  • Shoes worn by Queen Victoria
  • Jewelled-heeled shoes from the 1920s flapper era
  • A 19th century hat trimmed with swan's feathers
  • A painted fan with mother of pearl sticks

Behind the scenes video

Behind the scenes video|

'The Finishing Touch' also looks at changing social customs and how these influenced accessories women wore. The changing role of women - from largely passive to more active - is shown through the items on display.

"Nothing is so vulgar as an incongruous glaring coloured glove."

- Etiquette for Ladies, 1843