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A protective covering for the back of chairs and sofas, used to prevent macassar hair oil staining upholstery. It originated in the early 19th century with the introduction of hair oil in place of powdered wigs for men. Anti-macassars were made in a wide variety of materials, such as embroidered cloth, white crochet-work, Berlin woolwork, and patchwork. Popular until the end of the century, anti-macassars were also widespread in America, where they were known as ‘tidies’.

Subjects: Art.

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