Only One of These Catches Flies



The elaborately-structured glass item on the right is a nineteenth-century fly catcher:
The fly catchers were used in the sickroom. They were baited with sugar and water, which was placed in the ring near the base. Flies which entered between the feet of the trap were unable to find their way out again and drowned in the sugar solution.

The basic structure is of course not fundamentally different from the plastic wasp traps available at modern hardware stores.

The "frog" on the left is actually a seventeenth-century purse:
It is made in two halves; the back is on a hard base with padding on top, the underside is on a more pliable base. The two are seamed together to just below the front legs and are lined with greenish-yellow silk with a gusset at each side to form a tiny purse with a drawstring fastening.

Both items come from the collections of the Museum of London, via Victorian and Edwardian Paintings.

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You can still buy those purses in the philippines. They are considered good luck in some pleaces, the way some people consider rabbits' feet to be lucky.
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