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What is White virgin mink?

Guest tom4fur

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I was watching a Liberace concert and he wore a beautiful white mink cape. Someone asked what kind of fur he was wearing. He replied "virgin white mink" then he joked how hard it was to find virgins anywhere let alone enough minks to make a cape. The audience went wild with laughter! A different time I guess. Anyway what is virgin mink? It can't be that obvious, if it is why would it matter? HA,HA!

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Could he have made a reference to "virgin wool" which was probably in widespread use at that time? I remember brand-independent advertisements by a non-profit trade organization of wool fabric producers about "virgin wool" or "new wool" from early 1980s...

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Liberace was a HUGE fur lover as I remember. Maybe not but think had we been here at the time he would have spent a lot of time here. Maybe undercover but still here.

Kind of doubt that he would have made that mistake.


That was quite awhile back. I think that a lot of furs have been renamed since then. No more or at least very little china mink, koney (or was it coney), etc. They standardized the names more as too many people were getting ripped off by the fur industry and they realized quite rightly that they had to do something or lose their industry. That MIGHT have had something to do with it.


Hopefully one of our experts here will see this. Give us some ideas




P.S. Added later. Wonder if virgin mink is female mink.

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To me, it sounds like a marketing term used to convince the customer they are buying something worth the excessive price.


I believe that generally female mink pelts are considered to be a bit better quality than male mink pelts. However to the manufacturing furrier, the size and quality of the pelts is more important than the marketing terms used. To the retail furrier (seller), a well known marketing name can mean a higher profit margin.

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Part of Liberace's fame comes from playing up his ambiguously gay persona.


In the 1980's, before he died of AIDS, he was sued for palimony and ended up settling without admitting wrongdoing. However, in the late 1960's and 1970's when he was at the height of his fame, even the hint of being gay was still considered scandalous. Yet, Liberace was still the highest paid performer in show business.


In 1956 a columnist from The Daily Mirror called him "[A] deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love." Liberace sued and won £8,000. He sued the gossip magazine Confidential in 1957 and settled out of court. He is famously quoted as saying, "I cried all the way to the bank!"


Everybody seemed to "know" that Liberace was gay but, because he kept his home life private, the public was willing to look the other way. The fact that he was one of the greatest pianists who ever lived; possibly THE greatest; made it even easier for people to overlook his personal life. Because of this freedom, he was even able to joke around about it just a little.


By the time he was at the height of his career in concert and on television slightly sexual jokes were one of his little "trademarks." He could have easily made a sideways remark about his coat being made from "virgin mink" and the whole world would have laughed about it. That's exactly what I think it was: A joke.


Many people know about "virgin wool" and would accept the term "virgin mink" as real even if they didn't know what it means. If somebody did know that there is no such thing, he might still be inclined to accept the term as the premise of a joke. This is known as the theory of "Willing Suspension of Disbelief."


Because Liberace had a knack for telling somewhat off-color jokes and because the term "virgin mink" sounds somewhat plausible when used as the premise of a joke, the audience roared with laughter. If you or I tried to tell the same joke in similar circumstances we would probably have gotten nothing but sly looks from the audience if we didn't get booed off the stage first.

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