It's a Christening cap! Rare,early 19th Century bead & knit German cap
Since writing this description I have found similar christening caps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Do take a look at the Blog where they are shown.
Well! This is rare in my experience; a super little cap in strips of fancy knit and beadwork, with silk ribbon insertions & bows.
The cap is continental, probably German, and although beadwork is not my area at all, I am dating it to circa 1820-40's, based on the design and shape, which is quite deep from front to back. I HAVE NOW FOUND OUT THAT IT IS A CHRISTENING CAP!
Absolutely tiny, it would be superb for an antique doll but looks rather uncomfortable on my little hat stand as it is too small for it!
There is a lovely gold bead star shape to the back crown and the bands of beadwork at the sides are roses in pinks and greens. Very reminicant of Regency beadwork reticules.
The three tiny ribbon bows to the top and centre back are charming.
There is some wear to the ribbons so please read the condition report below.
The side width is 4" and top to base is 3.5".
The beads and knit are in lovely condition - I have seen a little bead loss but cannot tell where it is from!
The lace edge is age discoloured. The silk ribbons are delightful, original, but some are losing colour. The side ribbons are shredding, but the bows are staying quite stable.