Saturday, March 8, 2014

Regency Era Cap

From the seller:

Museum Unusual c.1750-1800 French Fine Large Sculptural Coiffe/Cap

with gorgeous Embroidery and Hand Made Lace



Place of origin: France (made, designed).

Date: c.1750-1800

Artist/Maker: Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques: Fine Linen. Lace. Embroidery. Hand made.

Provenance: Important European Private Collection of Antique Textiles and Costume

This is another wonderful find! Rare to find in the market a French coiffe (cap) of this date, stunning design and exaggerated proportions!

This historical French c.1750-1800 all hand sewn cap (coiffe) or hooded cap is made of fine and sheer linen with a large, wrapping and long brim and veil of light linen and hand made lace all in one. This coiffe should be very expensive at the time and diffcult to wear but... It is simply extraordinary! I’ve collected a number of very early caps and bonnets, even fragments, and sold quite a lot over the years, but I’ve never come across a magnificient piece like this one!.

This cap is mouthwateringly beautiful as objet d'art, a covetable little treasure in its own right.

The form of the coiffe (cap) is close fitting but extremely large and deep back and front like a hood. The white on white textured design over the linen is really remarkable and characterizes the fine quality of late 18th century French work and fabrics. The gorgeous sheer linen used for this example has a rich textured appearance exhibiting, not just fine workmanship in the shape and design, but high quality. The coiffe may be tied back close to the neck to gather the crown and hide the coiffure. In front of the headband, two light, exaggerate and wide layers of sheer veil forms a sort of a halo around the face and hung over the shoulders. The veil features a superb hand made lace trim.

Often the strings are missing from coiffes so it is rather nice that they have survived with this one.

A fashionable French lady of this period should have worn this wonderful cap with a colorful floral printed indienne caraco and full skirt or with a one piece opulent dress, embroidered stockings and shoes with beautiful buckles. *Last picture shows a 17th century lady wearing a similar coiffe.

This coiffe (cap) is certainly a testament to superior workmanship. A wonderful piece, with a superb structured design and fine handwork, a great addition to any textile or costume collection.

* The mannequin head is a baby head size, so that the cap looks even bigger on it; nevertheless the cap is large and wrapping.

Measures: Front to back: 17 1/2"; Headband half circunf: 17"; Veil Lenght (Total): 38"; Veil Lenght (side): 19"; Crown circunf: 18"; Crown from top to bottom: 10".

Condition: Excellent. Strong and Clean. Very slight (almost invisible) tiny brown spot on top of the headband. 2 tiny pin head brown spots. Highly collectable. Museum Quality and Condition.

Simply exquisite!

From Me:

So, the width of the lappets alone are a clue that this is not 18th century. The tiny "bun" area/crown of the cap with the super lappets brim means this is about 1810's. You can see a similar one from a couple of decades later at the Boston Museum.

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