I treated myself to a complete set of "Weldon's Practical Needlework" volumes (I already had 5 of them, and bought the rest @ half price on Interweave.com). These are reprints of crafts magazines published in England during the 19th century. There are a lot of great knitting patterns I'd love to try out. And some seriously strange 'doo dads'. The pictured item is called a fly-rest, and it's made out of crepe paper. What do you think was its purpose? There's nothing there to obviously attract flies (this by the way is the 'plain' version, there's an even more elaborate one in one of the volumes). I can't see how you'd be able to smack the flies once they landed on this, it looks pretty flimsy. And there weren't any directions for creating a super-fancy fly swatter either ;-)
What do you think? Distract the flies so they'd land on this instead of your food? I can't find any info, so maybe Fluther readers can help!