|Description: A small crinoline hoop made out of graduated hoops of fine steel. Each hoop joined by brass fasteners as well as five cloth strips which extend from largest hoop to waist. Long cloth strips extend from smallest hoop to waist band. Waist band cloth appears to be a replacement as it is quite different and newer fabric than other fabric. No fasteners on waist band. |
The hoop appears to be for a young girl.
Although the word 'crinoline' had other origins, after 1850, its main reference was to a stiffened metal hoop skirt structure designed to create a desired shape for a woman's dress. Prior to this, women would achieve a full skirted shape either by stiffening the petticoat, or by attaching rings or cords to the hem of the skirt in order to create rigidity, which was quite heavy. Thus, the popularization of the relatively lighter crinoline hoop by the mid nineteenth century was a welcome change. The hoops became smaller in diameter by 1864 with the introduction of crinolinettes but eventually went out of style.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crinoline and Cunnington & Cunnington, "Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century," Plays Inc. 1970, pp 450-451.