Date: c. 1850s
Origin: Possibly Menton, France
A tapered wooden busk, hand painted with a floral design and the name ‘Menton’. Early busks were often made of wood, bone or baleen and would be inserted into the centre of stays or corsets to help support the garment and shape the body. Busks could be plain and utilitarian, or elaborately carved and painted, with the latter occasionally exchanged as a love token. The style of this busk suggests that it was created as a souvenir rather than intended to be actively worn. The text ‘Menton’ likely refers to a town in the French Riviera.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska