A work in progress, this circa 1880 gold silk smoking cap offers a fascinating glimpse into the home needlework of the period, when patterns for items like this were featured in monthly women’s magazines. It has been artfully embroidered on the crown and structured with a piece cut from a beautifully lithographed Victorian trade card, but has never been joined to the silk lining that would have finished it.
The embroidery features the initial “G” entwined with apple blossoms in pink, white, and green. In Victorian floriography, apple blossoms connote romantic attachment or preference, making this cap—made by the grandmother of a elderly local woman for her husband, Mr. “G”—an especially charming gift, even if it was never completed).
The trade card sewn to the underside of the crown advertises the Krebs Lithographing Company, which evolved from an earlier 19th century printing firm based in Cincinnati, and was headed in the early 1880s by Herman Krebs. Please see photo #7 for an image of a poster with similar aesthetic “feel” made by the Krebs Lithographing Company for the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition of 1881.
Measuring 24” around inside the base of the crown and 3” high, this smoking cap is in excellent if incomplete condition, ready for display or the addition of a lining to make it wearable.
Please see my other listings for a tasseled smoking cap made by the same woman.
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