When I wrote my to-do list, I noted as number one the “foldable pannier”. The reason for that is purely practical – I need something that could fit into my hand lugguage if necessary and still can unfold to a width that exceeds hand lugguage sizes.
But then I knew something like this already existed:
The red one is from the Met and the left one is from Les Arts Decoratifs plus another one from Les Arts Decoratifs which is nearly identical in looks and construction. (In fact I used to think they were the same.)
Unfortunately that’s all she wrote because aside from one sketch and a wonderful article on a Canadian museum’s website how to store such thing, little is known.
What was apparent is that in order to fully recreate these, you need to a be metalworker. Obviously, I am not, so I went and improvised with 5/8 inch plastic boning, white bone casing, a round file and some Chicago screws and a lot of time.
The result is actually really foldable, lightweight, stable and super-practical:
It also doesn’t photograph well. It needs some actual hips to straighten the curve of the connecting bones and it’s final shape is created when the weight of the fabric of the petticoat pulls all its connecting ties tight.