Victorian Hat from about 1860-1880. I would think, because of the size, it was made for a child. I purchased this piece, along with others from a friend of mine who purchased a section of a Victorian museum up North (Missouri I believe) and lots of people donated items for the museum. The Victorian Museum never came into fruition because of money issues. So, items were auctioned off in lots and he purchased all the Victorian clothing, and I purchased the children's clothing from him, because he only wanted the women's clothing.
It would look great on a large Bebe doll as well. I know that back in the Victorian era that even children did not leave the house without wearing a hat. It was just part of the daily wardrobe…which wasn't much…unless you had money. This could have been a Mourning hat for a child…or very small woman. From the days of the Civil War Era and you can see this type of hat when researching hats.
Mourning clothes were quite common and Queen Victorian had made some stiff rules about observing the death of a loved one. Many Americans adopted the Victorian rules for their own. For example, if a woman's husband died, the woman would mourn for three years and her clothing would reflect where she was in that three year mourning process. A child's death would keep a women wearing nothing but black for one year.
The inside of the hat, to help determine the size, is 5 inches ear to ear and 5 inches top to bottom and 4 inches deep. Small! Great for the collector of such items or for your favorite BeBe doll.
There are a few straight pins keeping the satin ribbon attached to the hat. The curly front is also ribbon that is curled up. In very good and clean condition considering it is about 160 years old. Well taken care of. No smells to it. We are a non smoking home, but I've only owned it for several years.
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