June 7, 2011

Anti-Antimacassar

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:07 am by elizabethcaulfieldfelt

I’m editing/revising and came across this typo

anti-antimacassar

Rather than just delete the extra anti-, I started wondering what exactly an anti-antimacassar might be.

For those of you who do not know, in the nineteenth century, many men wore macassar oil in their hair. An antimacassar was a cloth cover, often crocheted or embroidered, placed on the top of a sofa or chair to keep the macassar oil off the furniture. Even after macassar oil went out of fashion, antimacassars remained.

I remember a number of chairs in my grandmother’s house that always had a lace antimacassar pinned to the top. Knowing my grandmother, she probably knew the original purpose of the antimacassar and used the lace just to achieve that nineteenth century look.

I picture an anti-antimacassar as a person involved in a movement to simplify interior design by getting rid of the unnecessary, embracing the modern. Of course this movement would not be gentle and pleasant, but rabid and controversial. An anti-antimacassar would be a militant interior designer, bent on molding the world to his/her specifications. What do you think?

I need to get back to revising. Revising is hard and thinking about anti-antimacassars was so much more fun.

Yes, I know, I’m weird.

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3 Comments »

  1. Or maybe an anti-antimacassar is a collection of spikes that screw into the top of a chair so that meddling elderly women cannot pin antimacassars onto defenseless pieces of furniture.

  2. You are correct with the first definition. It is a piece of material held at the top of chairs etc; These items were affixed in position by the use of ” Antimacassar Pins””. Which is a double pronged pin shaped rather like an elongated legged shape U. I am trying to find such pins at this time.

    • Yes! I can picture the pins exactly. My grandmother and mother and many of those pins. Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened to them. Good luck in your search!


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