Collecting Victorian posy holders

This small conical holder was filled with tiny flowers known as ‘nosegays’, to chase away the smells and views of Victorian streets.

Some also believed that the natural, pleasant smell warded off ill health and were also used by fashionable young ladies to show their acceptance of a gentleman courting her. If a gentleman sent a lady flowers, she would fill her posy holder and wear it to a ball, with the ring attached to her finger, to show she approved.

They were filled with flowers known as nosegays

In the US, these posy holders were often known as ‘tussie mussies’ with ‘tussie’ being an old English word for nosegay and ‘mussy’ referring to the damp moss that was used inside to give the flowers water.

Less expensive versions were made from brass or pinchbeck, an alloy of copper and zine. This 1880 posyholder (14.5cm long) is valued at £180-£220.

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