Thursday, October 20, 2011

Beaver Hat!

From the seller:

I am delighted to have bought this wonderful hat from a well known British collector of many years.

The stovepipe hat is an early top hat, worn by gentlemen in the early 19th Century. By the 1840-50's, the black top hat that we all recognise was worn by all in formal situations.

The collector said this hat was circa 1830's. As I have never examined one before, I cannot comment more on this, but I think the very early ones were taller.

It is said to be an English 'beaver' plush hat, and I really hope not [I'm a veggie!] - it looks just like plush velvet with a fine and very soft pile. Called 'petal pink', it does not come across now of pink except for the slightest tone or hint. It is more of a rich pinky beige.

It is a taper top.

The hat has a ribbon around it and a glorious buckle to one side. Quite a sight!

Inside, we see the makers label Woodrow of Piccadilly, in gold lettering. The silk lining has an unusual bias cut and is a little spotted with discolouration.

There is the usual little silk bow mounted onto the deep leather band, of a tan colour.

The hat comes in a card box, fitted to house it. The box is lined with ply wood, which is really good news for sending it through the post! Although the box is clearly old, I am not sure that it is original and was probably made to keep the hat secure. As you can see, there is writing on the box, and there is also an exhibition label enclosed, where the hat was clearly displayed in the past.

Condition is excellent. The hat is mildly discoloured by dust to the exterior, especially at brim and edges. The inner brim shows the pile ruffled to the inner edges. One little piece of silk is hanging down from the leather edge, but none of the silk that shows is damaged [apart from the spotting mentioned earlier. The box, is of course, grubby, with two broken corners to the lid.

The hat stands approx 7" high. The inner space measures just over 8" long and 6.5" wide. The circumference of the leather band is approx 21.75".

Best, though, for a collector who will really treasure it!

From Me:

A beaver hat! I've heard of these but I've never seen one to my knowledge. They were all the fashion through out most of the 19th Century. Very cool!


  1. This looks lovely - I have a pink felt hat base and hope to make one similar - I'll post progress on my Instagram account at

  2. Nice to see something so rare and wonderful!