Late teens, c. 1916-1918 hat from the Rosenthal-Sloan Company in a lustrous navy straw is trimmed with a pleated ribbon under a wreath of cherries, purple berries and blue silk leaves. Its wire-edged brim turns up jauntily; its sturdy crown has a shallow, oval shape; and its underbrim is faced in matching navy silk.
Fruit-trimmed hats were a stylish option at the time, as were hats with smaller, helmet-like crowns and brims rolled either at one side or in back. Photo #6 shows straw hats with a silhouette similar to this one in the 1918 Montgomery Ward catalog.
Wreaths of millinery fruit or flowers could be purchased separately and added to an untrimmed hat, as was perhaps the case here. The clusters of purplish berries are made of silk-covered batting, while the cherries are made of celluloid or another early, painted resin. A 1919 ad for “millinery fruit effects” offers bunches of cherries mounted on “fine texture foliage”, with grapes, apples, plums, mandarins and mulberries as the other options.
The crown of the hat has a black silk liner embossed with the monogram logo of the Rosenthal-Sloan company (photo #6 shows this logo in an ad from the 1916 Illustrated Milliner). Founded in 1874, the St. Louis-based Rosenthal-Sloan Company was a leading millinery company with a national presence by the time this hat was made.
Measurements of the hat are: Inner circumference at base of crown 23”, crown depth 3.5” diameter front to back edge (underneath the hat) 11.5” and diameter from side edge to side edge 10”.
Fair/good condition, with the body of the hat clean, sturdy and wearable and the fruit wreath intact. However, the silk facing of the underbrim is fragile, with shattering and exposed portions along most of the wire ring it once covered; the silk could be removed entirely or professionally replaced if the new owner so chooses. In addition, the lining has detached from the sides of the crown in many places and the lettering of the logo is worn and discolored (photos #7 and #8 show these issues).
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