Help with Fur Identification (Possibly Seal?)

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by JustFurFun, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. JustFurFun

    JustFurFun Registered Guest

    Hi Everyone, I have a coat that I am struggling with identifying. I have never felt or seen seal fur before so I don’t have anything to reference other than the threads on this site. I have read every single post with “seal” in it and I still cannot positively say whether it is rabbit, beaver, muskrat or seal. ☹️ It is very soft like rabbit and the coat is quite heavy. Also, is the collar and cuffs muskrat? I would greatly appreciate any help on this one. I don’t plan on selling it either way as it belonged to my great great grandmother. Actually, it was her furs that started my appreciation and eventual collection of furs in the first place! She was a proper lady born in 1900. I had the privilege of knowing her when I was a small child. I remember that she never left the house without being made up and her shoes and purse always had to match.
    3DFC5D65-B636-456A-9D2D-48D4EB4709F4.jpeg 8E435D29-DB82-4E49-B9EA-29E472555BF5.jpeg 0ED915BC-EC73-4F32-B949-C311B98FC7CA.jpeg 9706B672-FCC5-472A-BFAF-14EE8E91F23C.jpeg 984B74E5-8431-44F2-ACE4-65761958B24E.jpeg D7FD7246-7263-4E6C-8EA9-762EC3E55F65.jpeg FA4E8E5A-3BE1-4C33-AC32-64380D0676A4.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  2. The Vintage Stylist

    The Vintage Stylist Administrator Staff Member

    Hello! It appears like seal to me. Seal fur is extremely soft. My guess is (ranch?) mink on the collar and cuffs but I would wait to hear others chime in on this one. It's a beautiful piece! Enjoy.
     
  3. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

    I see seal as well in the last two photos, but not sure with the other photos you showed above. I am wondering if it might be sheared beaver. It is a lovely coat and it is nice to have something from your great great grandmother, enjoy wearing it!
     
  4. Furwise

    Furwise Administrator Staff Member

    Hello, Very pretty. It does look like seal but it's sheared muskrat that's made to look that way. I can tell because I can see the definition of each of the pelts.
    Can you please show me the front of the collar just a little closer? I still want to see the whole collar. I just need to see it a little better. I need to see the cuffs better too. I can't see those well at all.
     
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  5. JustFurFun

    JustFurFun Registered Guest

    Hi Caryn, I was really expecting something like sheared beaver or sheared rabbit because of how soft it is. I noticed the edges show the leather is spots and it is a creamy off white in color. Is muskrat super soft when sheared? I have also taken better photos of the collar and cuffs. What type of fur do you think they are? Thank you again for all of you help.
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  6. JustFurFun

    JustFurFun Registered Guest

    Hi Caryn, I was really expecting something like sheared beaver or sheared rabbit because of how soft it is. I noticed the edges show the leather is spots and it is a creamy off white in color. Is muskrat super soft when sheared? I have also taken better photos of the collar and cuffs. What type of fur do you think they are? Thank you again for all of you help.
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  7. Furwise

    Furwise Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you. The collar and the cuffs are mink. Sheared muskrat is very soft and without the definition of the pelts that I could see it would be very hard to distinguish the fur type with the exception that you could tell that it was not genuine seal because you can see the oxidation or change in the color of the dye at the roots.
    The change in the skin color you mentioned was also due to the fur being dyed.
    I’m uncertain if you were talking about the edge wear being present where the muskrat is but if so that is another common characteristic of muskrat.
    Of course due to the age though any fur type could show that wear so I wouldn’t have made a judgement based on that alone.
     
  8. JustFurFun

    JustFurFun Registered Guest

    Hi Caryn, You don't know how much I appreciate your expertise with help in identifying furs. I really enjoy collecting them and sometimes wearing them (because Florida doesn't offer too many cold days to wear them unfortunately). But, for my own knowledge, so you are saying...seal does not oxidize or change color in the hair at the root even if it is dyed? Also, for the life of me I can't see the pelt outline. Where should I be looking and is muskrat a smaller/narrower pelt than seal? Does it have shorter hair than the one I have? Again, thank you so much for all of your help.
     
  9. Furwise

    Furwise Administrator Staff Member

    If fur is dyed black or near black and changes color or oxidizes it turns red. If it were the seal type being mimicked it would have naturally been black or near black and would not have turned red.

    Here's a genuine seal fur wallet I have. Please note this is not for sale. It is for study only. Commercial trading of seal is prohibited without permitting. It is naturally black although the light may make it look near black in this photo but no red. The fur was not sheared. It is so wonderful to feel, very velvety and silky but with more density.
    seal wallet.jpg


    Seal pelts are significantly larger than muskrat pelts. Muskrat fur is longer than seal but in the example of your coat it was sheared to look like seal. I've included one of your images of your coat to show you part of the definition of the pelts. It's tough to see but hopefully you will be able to see a little bit of those lines close to the top left side. Then the bottom too but that's harder to see. If this were seal or even sheared beaver you would not see these lines at all because the pelts of seal and beaver are so much bigger. The lines come to points and sometimes look like zigzags because the pelts include the nose and rumps.

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    Last edited: Dec 22, 2019
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