What more delightful or dignified present can any lord make his lady than presenting her with a complete suit of ermine, comprising muff, cuffs, cape, tippet, boa, and cloak. I know of no present that will give such general and infinite satisfaction… How comes it, then, that polecats’ and stoats’ skins are held so inestimable, while the poor humble rat’s skin is held in detestation, when in texture and softness it is quite equal, if not superior, to either?… I am satisfied there is no one thing can equal them for ladies’ gloves, where delicacy and softness are the essential requisites to form the beau-ideal of perfection… Nevertheless, in despite of every prejudice, should my readers at any time wish to impress those delicate things, the ladies’ hands, with the pure stamp of elegance, just thrust them into rats’ skins, and the work is complete.
James Rodwell, The Rat: Its History and Destructive Character
Looking for the perfect gift for your lady this winter? Nothing says “beau-ideal of perfection” like a complete suit of rat fur.