Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 353 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FUR SEAL.—Sizes range from 24X 15 in. to 55X25 in., the width being taken at the widest part of the skin after preparation. The centre of the skin between the fins is very narrow and the skins taper at each end, particularly at the tail. The very small pups are of a beautiful quality, but too tiny to make into garments, and, as the aim of a good furrier is to avoid all lateral or cross seams, skins are selected that are the length of the garment that is to be made. The most useful skins for coats are the large pups 42 in. long, and the quality is very good and uniform. The largest skins, known in the trade as " wigs," which range up to 8 ft. in length, are uneven and weak in the fur, and hunters do not seek to obtain them. The supply of the best sort is chiefly from the North Pacific, viz. Pribilof Islands, Alaska, north-west coast of America, Copper Island of the Aleutian group near to Kamschatka, Robben Island and Japan. Other kinds are taken from the South Pacific and South Atlantic Oceans, around Cape Horn, the Falkland Islands up to Lobos Islands at the entrance of the La Plata river, off the Cape of Good Hope and Crozet Isles. With, however, the exception of the pick of the Lobos Island seals the fur of the southern sea seals is very poor and only suitable for the cheapest market. Formerly many skins were obtained from New Zealand and Australia, but. the importation is now small and the quality not good. The preparation of seal skin occupies a longer time than any other fur skin, but its fine rich effect when finished and its many properties of warmth and durability well repay it. Value Ios. to 232x.
End of Article: FUR SEAL

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