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Rare 1830 -35 bonnet with original ribbons

Rare 1830 -35 bonnet with original ribbons

The Mary Ireland collection - see Blog.

This extremely rare bonnet is labelled as 1830 - 35 by Mary Ireland, and has it's original silk ribbons.

To understand bonnets and caps, we need to know first the fashion of the decade, and more importantly, the hairstyles. No lady in history would ruin her hair arrangement for the wearing of a bonnet! Of course, the period 1825-35 saw the fashion for the widest of shoulders in dress, which needed to be balanced with large hats. These, with a tiny waist, gave the period the well earned title of 'The Romantic Era'

This bonnet is large and has a profusely embroidered floppy flounce all around. This is hand embroidered in an ivy leaf design. The piped border between the flounce and the large gauze crown is decorated with pleated and folded wide silk, picot edged ribbon which is so fresh one can hardly believe it. The ribbons hang deeply over the shoulders.

Langley tells us: 'During the second half of the 1820's, hairstyes climbed to new heights.....For daywear, enormous wide brim hat were worn with long ribbons dangling down instead of tied.' Page 31.2009 [see Links & Research for full reference].

I have included an image of the hairstyles of the day, taken from Langley as above, and originally Modes de Paris plate, late 1820's.

I have never before seen an 1830's bonnet with the original ribbons.


    The bonnet is in very good condition for age. The whitework muslin & gauze are slightly darkened, to be expected, and one of the ivy leaves is stained. This bonnet would soak in cold water to great success, but you would need to remove the ribbons and replace exactly as original or the value will be completely lost. Personally I would leave her exactly as she is.

    The ribbons are wonderful for age, and there are no splits or holes. I have found some subtle repair to the piping edges, but this is probably done by Mary Ireland who knew exactly what she was doing.

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