Cabinet of Curiosities, Ep. 1: The Monkey Fur Cape

Fur cape goes from glamour to conservation

With close to 90,000 artifacts in our collection, the York County History Center has many items that are seldom or never on public display. In this new video series, Cabinets of Curiosities, we introduce you to some of the oddities in our vast collection.

Episode 1: The Colobus Monkey Fur Cape

The cape, made from the fur of the black and white colobus monkey, was once considered a glamorous outer garment among fashionable women. Society’s views about fur clothing have changed, and the biggest threat to the colobus monkey today is habitat loss due to human development.

Monkey fur capes like the one in our collection became popular in the 1930s. Our particular cape was gifted to the History Center in 2017 by Patricia Schell. Emily Immel from our Collections staff details the amount of work required to care for the garment in a way that preserves it for many years.

Want to know how we brush the fur, or make sure the cape is stored properly?

Watch the video here.

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