Monday, November 12, 2018

More About Skunk Fur

After publishing the post "Contemplating Skunks," I got curious the alleged popularity of skunk fur coats. A little research discovered these two ads. The first, undated, is for the New York department store B. Altman & Co., where a skunk greatcoat from the Altman Fur Salon cost $395. 

The second appeared in the New York Daily News in August 1941, advertising a fur sale at Russeks, once located on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street, where a skunk fur coat could be had for a mere $170. 



  1. A reader submitted this comment:

    The ad for the skunk fur coat, at first appeared incongruous to me in context with the elegant typeface of the store name “Russeks”. Russeks was the NYC department store that was the source of Diane Arbus’ family wealth. Diane, then Nemerov, met Allan Arbus in Russeks art department and married him at age 18 in 1941, the same year as the ad for the skunk fur coat. After WWII, the Arbuses opened a photography studio, doing fashion shoots, and Russeks was one of their accounts. Later, of course, Diane Arbus photographed her own vision of the world. Makes you wonder about the skunk fur coat...

  2. $170 (much less $395) for a coat wasn't cheap in 1941, when you consider that a year at Yale in 1941 (tuition, room, and board) cost $900. (Source: Yale Alumni Magazine)

    -- Jock Spivy

  3. Ah yes, the Yale CPI, a true Yalie are Ye!

    1. Penn cost $940 in 1941 (tuition, room, board). Source: University Archives, University of Pennsylvania.

      But hey, who’s counting?

      Jock Spivy