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So special, silk bonnet for a little girl. C1820-30

So special, silk bonnet for a little girl. C1820-30

This is the first of a group of caps and bonnets that date from the early 18th Century through to the 19th Century. I am hoping to put them in Poppies Cottage before Christmas 2019, such a turbulent year in the Western World. So they are my way of giving a 'Heads-Up' to 2020, hopefully far more predictable and serene!


You will know as my regulars, that I love headwear above all else, my theory being that the closer to the head, the closer to the thoughts!

You will recognise the shape of this bonnet as an indoor cap, usually made in fine linen. It is a classic. But I have never before seen one in silk, and for a little girl. This makes it very special indeed. I adore it!

The bonnet is made of fine silk and is a pale cream colour. It is lined in gauze to the high crown and silk to the brim. The bavelot is unlined. As far as I can tell, it is completely original.

What a shape! In the 1820-30 period, ladies wore their hair scraped back at the front and with high 'buns' at the top. There would be little ringlets around the face. This bonnet is constructed for the hair style, as they always were. 

So, we have a very deep front brim that is pleated and curve shaped, leading to three front tucks that are decorative and not for gathering.

Fine, picot-edged ribbon form an edge at the base of the brim, leading to a large rosette of the same ribbon, to one side.

Behind the base edge brim, we sear upwards into a highly gathered top-knot style crown that presumably holds the hair in place. To ensure that this remains high, the back piece is an arched crown with two rows of flat cording in a dome to follow the shaping. Love it!

Now, to the back neck there is a hugely flared bavelot [curtain] that if unpleated would be almost a complete circle shape I think. This needs ironing - not my skill! Each side end of the bavelot finishes with a sharp point, that I would think would actually curl against the young girl's cheeks! All of this is edge bound in silk.

The original silk ties remain and while creased, they do not appear to have shattered, although I can see a couple of places with nick to the edge.

Peek inside to find the gauze lining of the crown and smooth silk lining of the brim. 

Simply gorgeous! 

Although in remarkable condition for such an early piece, please read the condition report below and view the photo's with care. 

The back crown is 4" high. Around the neck measures 6". The top of crown from front to back measures 5" and the brim depth is 4.5".

One of my favourites......


    For such a pale colour and fine silk, I would describe this bonnet as being in very good condition, but not for the perfectionist.

    As you can see, there is modest staining, particularly at one side of the brim, but small bits in other area's also. The ties are also discoloured but not shattered at all.

    I am quite sure this could be specialist cleaned and think it is worth it. The camera does make it appear harsher than it is. The staining has not damaged the silk at all.

    There are a few tiny dark pinspots, which in a coule of places have broken into very small holes. These are to the bavelot.


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