During the 1930s, the ethical concerns we have today were entirely missing from the fashionable woman's wardrobe. Animal furs were all the rage for winter coats and evening stoles and Emily Tinne owned many. At the beginning of the early 1930s, she bought this striking, velvet evening coat with an angora rabbit fur collar, from department store George Henry Lee's in Basnett Street, Liverpool.
George Henry Lee and Co Ltd was founded by brothers George and Henry Lee during the 1850s. The business expanded rapidly and by 1910 there were 1200 employees. During the 1920s George Henry Lee's was refurbished. By 1930, it was the Northwest's most exclusive shopping destination. The atmosphere was spacious and elegant: it was the total shopping experience.
By contrast with the made-to-measure outfitters of Bold Street, the new department stores that had opened in Liverpool during the late nineteenth century, offered the opportunity to browse the new collections and choose ready-to-wear clothes. They still offered a bespoke service though for their wealthiest customers. This coat was probably made specially for Emily. The dramatic effect is created by the contrast in colours and textures between the velvet of the coat and the fur of the collar.