These old gauntlets were a recent happy find. When I spotted them I thought, “motoring gloves”. Later I had second thoughts, as most of the motoring gauntlets I have seen had padded palms. Then I thought, “riding gloves” but my resources all showed women on horseback wearing a glove with a trimmer arm.
A look through a 1896 McClure’s magazine gave me what I think is the answer. These are most likely cycling gloves. 1896 was the height of the cycling craze and the magazine is full of illustrations of women cyclists selling bicycles and accessories.
The shape of the gauntlets is perfect for the sleeve of the mid 1890s – big puffed shoulders, but narrow lower arms.
Of, course, I’m not 100% certain these are cycling gauntlets, but part of what makes collecting fun is the research and theories that result.
These gloves are exceptionally fine. The leather is very soft and the craftsmanship is top-notch. There are no labels or imprints on the interior, but each snap is engraved with a lion’s head.
And speaking of the snaps, the “male” part is a design of which I have never seen.
In nice gloves before the 1940s you expect to see little stitched tucks on the back of the hands. These ensure a snug fit. These gauntlets also have the tucks on the fingers.
Now all I need is a little cap like the ones in ads one and two.