Cora Pearl's Plumed Hat
Cora Pearl Bird Hat.jpg

Origin

Eliza Emma Crouch (aka Coral Pearl)

Type

Stuffed lesser bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor), feathers
Stuffed bird on hat (formerly)

Effects

Induces desire to copulate and the performance of extravagent courtship displays.

Downsides

Attraction is not limited to monogamy or the same species as those affected.

Activation

Proximity to courtship or copulation

Collected by

TBA (Out and About List)

Section

TBA (archived for Lupis-912F)

Aisle

TBA

Shelf

TBA

Date of Collection

TBA

[Source]


Origin[edit | edit source]

Eliza Emma Crouch (1836 - 1886), most commonly known by her alias Cora Pearl, was a well-known 19th-century courtesan. As a child in London, her father had abandoned her family and run away with another woman. He sent meager payment to support them, but only on the condition his children never use his last name.

In her twenties, Crouch had felt confined living with her grandparents for several years, which caused her to ignore their warnings of the dangers young women faced on the streets. One day, she had left home unchaperoned and was approached by an older man, whom she accepted the advances of. After taking her to a drinking den, they soon slept together, and her virginity was taken. When she awoke later, the man had left, leaving behind a five pound note - more money than Crouch had ever seen. Afterwards, she returned neither to her grandparents' or her mothers' home, instead renting out her own apartment.

Eventually, Crouch was hired as a prostitute. Realizing the life of one was almost invariably a tragic one, she committed to practice her new trade with higher expectations, with the goal of being a mistress of select dedicated lovers with the financial means to keep her in luxury. She led a relationship with her employer for some time, and the two travelled to Paris, France. She became so enamored with the city that she insisted her employer return to London alone so that she could stay. It was at this time that Crouch took on the name "Cora Pearl", a pseudonym chosen to resonate with the new identity and future she hoped to craft for herself in the French capital.

As a courtesan, Crouch/Pearl fully embraced a life of glamour and opulence, enabled by the attention (and the subsequent payment) she gained from her wealthy clientele; she was also known to have a desire to be the center of attention. She was known to show off her fine clothing and jewelry, to wear much heavier makeup than most women at the time so as to accentuate her eyes and using face powder tinted with silver or pearls to give her skin a shimmering appearance, dying her hair and the fur of her dog vibrant colors, and once attenting an elite masquerade ball "dressed" as a scantily clad Biblical Eve. She was also known for devising "entertainments of an unexpected and outrageous theatricality, of which she invariably was the star attraction": once such performance was at a rented chateau where she regularly hosted lavish dinner parties, at which no less than 15 people often attended. On one such evening, she dared the group assembled around the dinner table "to cut into the next dish" about to be served. The meal's next course was Cora Pearl herself, presented lying naked on a huge silver platter, garnished with parsley, and carried in by four large men.

For Crouch, money was for spending, for accumulating the luxuries of life and buying her way to a coveted perch in the upper echelons of society. As her career prospered, the gifts from her suitors needed to be both costly and imaginative. She pitted her admirers against one other, raising the price for her favours as the game between competitors escalated.

Eventually, however, she faced a decline in both reputation and career, and was eventually forced to sell her many homes and belongings due to a lack of money. By her late forties, she had been turned from her apartment in Monte Carlo and her belongings were siezed in place of rent. After her death in 1886, her remaining belongings were all sold in a two day auction in Paris.

During the Victorian era, it was a fashion trend to adorn hats with the plume feathers of various birds, or even entire birds that had been stuffed, including birds-of-paradise, several of which were nearly hunted to extinction for this very purpose. Birds-of-paradise, among many other birds, are known for their elaborate courtship dances they display to attract desired mates.

This hat, among some of Crouch's last possessions, was sold in her posthumous auction, where it eventually made its way to a zoo in Connecticut.

Effects[edit | edit source]

When the bird and/or its feathers are in proximity to an act of courtship (such as flirting, dating, gift-giving, etc.) or copulation, they induce in animals and humans around them a powerful lust and a desire to court anything they see. This attraction transcends anyone the affected may already be interested in or in a relationship with, and even species. Those affected will perform various acts to try and attract desired mates, from giving gifts to singing and dancing.

Collection[edit | edit source]

TBA

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