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pixeequeen2002
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« on: September 09, 2010, 09:26:42 PM »

I recently received this vintage stole when my grandmother passed away and can't find any information about the manufacturer. The tag inside reads "State Fur Co, Billings' Oldest Furrier" and there is a floral pattern embroidered in the lining. I believe this piece is from the 1950s or early '60s (she was married in 1958), and I have a vague recollection from when I was very small of her saying it was mink. The research I've done seems to corroborate that, it does have the look and feel of mink. There is also a monogram on the lining that reads "M.M.S." which is nowhere near my grandmother's name. If anyone has any information on State Fur Co or on the value of such a piece, I would be very grateful. Thanks!
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hosman321
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 10:32:01 PM »

Welcome to the forum, pixeequeen! I'll start searchin' for the company but I've also been looking on ebay. Similar stoles are going for around $50-$100. Most of them have zero bids at that price. It's probably not worth much since it's not terribly fancy with rhinestones or anything. The trend of wearing fur has almost completely faded away and now it seems only the super rich still sport it. And they want the really fancy/flashy ones. Maybe other countries still wear it? Huh Here's a few similar ones. I have a picture of my aunt in the 50's wearing one. It was her most prized possession back then, she was pretty broke. Anyways, hopefully we can find that company for ya!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Autumn-Haze-Mink-Stole-Wrap-BEAUTIFUL-/150488629080?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2309d23f58

Wow, they can't even get $10 for these.
http://cgi.ebay.com/MINK-WRAP-STOLE-NECKPIECE-FIVE-FULL-BODY-MINKS-NICE-/120616873582?pt=Vintage_Men_s_Women_s_Accessories&hash=item1c15536e6e

http://cgi.ebay.com/Natural-Brown-MINK-FUR-STOLE-Shrug-Cape-GLAMOUR-/290471542468?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a173fec4
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 10:41:37 PM by hosman321 » Logged
talesofthesevenseas
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 12:08:19 AM »

Yeah it has become so politically incorrect to wear fur anymore, that I don't think it is possible to wear it on the street without someone calling you a murderer. My suggestion would be to keep it carefully as a family heirloom. Even if it doesn't become valuable again, it does have historic connection to your grandmother.
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"Embrace the new, cherish the old."
waywardangler
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 03:57:30 AM »

If you would like to wear fur, go to Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg.  Everyone is wearing fur and proud of it!  Alaska also loves fur.  Just stay out of the PETA loving states and you can wear your fur without a problem.  Here in the Midwest, fur is OK.  Trapping and hunting is still allowed here.
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hosman321
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 04:29:29 AM »

I don't have a problem with fur if a hunter kills the animal (QUICKLY), skins it after it is dead and then eats the entire animal. But the way these animals are farmed and skinned alive, hanging from a hook...that's just horrendous and flat out barbaric. Fur farms need to be abolished, hunting doesn't. Watch an animal skinned alive, while it's still blinking and breathing and you'll feel the same way.
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wendy177
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 08:26:16 AM »

pixeequeen, your piece is mink  & a beautiful keepsake,I would put the value around $25.00 as many here have mentioned fur has become politically incorrect which has a huge impact on pricing & value.  unfortunately watching animals being skinned for fur is very close to watching them being  raised & slaughtered for food very graphic ,violent & not always sanitary or quick.  Unfortunately hosman a hunter cannot guarantee a quick kill  many dear are wounded and need to be tracked until death or a 2nd shot can be taken.  I don't think this process could ever be done "nicely" but it can be done with respect & care for the animals.   I would try & contact the Montana Historical Society  to see if they have records of the company in question. good luck
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KC
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2010, 09:56:11 AM »

We have quite a few furs we inherited in our family from the late 1800's to early 1900's.
This is one of those items that you have to have a hands on appraisal....if the fur has been stored correctly and isn't shedding.  Quality of fur makes a difference.  (Really nice furs are usually put in cold storage).

You can get a ball park of what people are selling for that don't want to get appraisals from googling.  I found from experience that a reputable furrier  was our best bet.

I must interject here that I understand about PETA's concerns in the past about the unnecessary and tragic conditions that animals were used for furs and am on board on that part.  However, furs have been used for warmth for thousands of years and will continue to do so.  After all....leather is used all the time!  In my neck of the woods it rarely gets that cold to wear them...and fewer events that come out that require such a grand nature of clothing.  But the facts are that we have some beautiful pieces of history AND we will use them.    There are so many synthetic furs that people wear (and look like the real thing) that they may not even notice it is the real deal. 
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 10:02:52 AM by KC » Logged
pixeequeen2002
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2010, 07:37:11 PM »

Many thanks for all the info...from what I had seen previously on ebay I didn't think the piece was going to be worth much. And just to let everyone know, I don't believe in wearing fur either (hence the reason I'm looking to sell it), I'm aware of the cruel and inhumane treatment in the fur industry. So don't jump on my case because I own this piece, I didn't buy it, it was bought in an earlier era when it was acceptable to wear fur. Again, thanks for the info, especially the advice to contact the historical society, because I would like to find out more about the origin of this piece and have no other route now that both my grandparents are gone.
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regularjoe2
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 12:08:36 AM »

Welcome to the forum , pixeequeen2002 .

Since you do have the lead of the original manufacturer , that's a plus .

Billings was (& still is , somewhat) a center for the mink trade , with roots going back past its' statehood .
Although I was not able to locate much info on the company on-line , I'd guess there will be folks in the Billings area that do know things about the company , perhaps even contacting a wholesale furrier there might just get you answers .

You're not alone in owning a non-PC-component item or two , as most of the folks here do too ; stuff such as ivory , sheep-skin , weapons ( & on & on - the list is really long!!! ) .

Perhaps you could closely inspect the lining of your item to see if it has been tailored to fit your grandma , or if it was not .

It used to be a bit of an occasion , when a woman received a mink .

Maybe someone in your family might know something about that ... like where she lived when she got it , etc. ?

I'd say the best shot at selling might be a vintage shop in a large city ( I see such things around the Seattle area ) , if you can't find a buyer on somewhere like craigslist .
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