Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Late 18th Century Cap

From the seller:

Unique Stunning c.1780-1820 Gold Bullion Work Embroidered German Cap or Bonnet

Superb embroidery embellished with Glass beads, Turquoise and Gold sequins



Place of origin: Germany, Europe (made, designed)

Date: c.1780s-1820

Artist/Maker: Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques: Gold bullion metal thread, glass beads, gold sequins, lace, linen; embroidery.

Provenance: Important European Private Collection - Original German Museum accesion number tag

Extraordinary antique late 18th century-early 19th century German bullion work and gold thread hand embroidered coiff or cap. These caps are very rarely found outside museums, and this is one of the oldest and most complex I have seen.

Known as "gold caps" they were extremely time-consuming to make: it is said that it took 300 hours to produce each coiff, but looking at the level of skill used in the bullion work, I find this estimate somewhat modest. This type of headwear was traditionally worn in Osnabrück, Westphalia in Germany, from 1775 through about 1850 and the shape and design denotes the cap was made for a young married woman since caps made from gold bullion work were worn by newly married ladies, while unmarried girls wore silver.

This gorgeous cap is completely and intricately hand made and han embroidered with gold bullion metal thread and embellished with gold sequins, glass beads and fine lace edging -it is very difficult to find a piece like this with its original lace in place-. The gold bullion metal thread couching work done is simply exquisite and complex an has acquired a delightful patina over time. The design is dense and raised in a breathtaking design of large scaled flowers, scrolls and leafs incrusted with ruby red glass beads, gold metal sequins and even a turquoise bead or stone placed in the center top.

The inside is fully lined in hadwoven plain linen fabric. Antique German Museum accession number tag number 42 sewn inside.

Condition: Excellent. Strong and Clean. Wearable and Perfect for display. Museum Quality and Condition. The only slight flaws to mention are 1 bead missing (unnoticeable), slight wear and/or gold thread loss back to the bottom edge center and faint age spots in the lining.

Measurements: End to end across the top of the cap: 39" (or 42" with lace); End to end across the back (at the neck): 35 1/2".

From Me:

The embroidery style is common in both the 17th & 18th centuries. You see it a bit in the 19th Century as well, but typically not quite as all over like this cap. I do think this is probably more to the 18th Century side rather than the 19th Century side because of the embroidery style.

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