Saturday, December 19, 2015

Interesting Antique Hat With Pearls

From the seller:

Exquisite antique doll bonnet.

Completely hand made. Intricately worked lace laid over opulent burgundy silk velvet, decorated throughout with wonderful pearl and clear glass beads.

Would look superb and a large doll.

Victorian 19th century.

the circumference of the bonnet is approx 19". Ear to ear approx 7".

Very good antique condition with just gentle signs of wear commensurate with age. Some beads are missing .

From Me:

I have no clue when this is really from - I just want to play with it. It looks like it would cast funny lights thanks to refraction if you tossed it up in the air on a sunny day. I'd add bells for extra noise. ...yeah, I know. I'm basically making a hat into a cat toy.

My guess is 1920's because I know they had some pretty insane beaded head-ware at that point. However, I'd very much welcome other opinions. Just be sure to back it up with a fashion plate or two!


Based on Sally's comment below and her wonderful links, I agree, it might be 1860's! Here's a photo from the FIDM Blog of an 1860's example.


  1. It could be mid-Victorian. When I first saw it, my instinct was 1870s, but I could be wrong. I couldn't find a fashion plate to back up my hunch, but I did find a few extant examples of beaded Victorian caps/bonnets.
    1850s evening headdress with similar pearl drops:
    Very similar pearl and lace wedding cap from the 1860s:
    Beaded bonnet dated to the 1880s:

    1. Thank you! I agree, it looks a lot like the 1860's one. I'll update the post to reflect that.

      ...I still think it looks like a cat toy though. :-) Merry Christmas!

    2. Thanks for sharing those links! I wouldn't have known when to put that at all.