Umbrella: brown w/carved whale bone handle

Object Number: 
ca. 1850
Textile, wood, whalebone, other bone, metal
closed: 39 x 9 in. ( 99.1 x 22.9 cm )
typewritten: on paper tag: "UMBRELLA, 1853 / Owned by Gordon Lester / Ford (1823-1891), noted / collector of Americana, / whose colln was given to / the NYPL in 1899 by his / sons. This umbrella was / known as the "courting / umbrella" in the family, / du
Umbrella with metal ferrule, brown linen(?) shade with whalebone ribs, wooden shaft, and carved bone handle.
Gallery Label: 
This umbrella, originally owned by Gordon L. Ford (1823-1891), grandfather of Mrs. Theodore L. Bailey, was known as the "courting umbrella" in Mr. Ford's family. When he was courting his wife, Emily Ellsworth (Fowler) Ford, he would leave the umbrella at her house when he called on her, as an excuse to call again. The two were married in 1853.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore L. Bailey, 1958
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group