The top hat was invented at the tail end of the 18th century as a slightly less ostentatious alternative to the already popular tricorne hat.
By the end of the 18th century top hats had become so outlandishly large that gentlemen had begun to run out of space to store them.
It wouldn't be until 1812, that Antoine Gibus would invent the collapsible top hat.
Sometimes called "opera hats", when flattened, they were much more convenient to store in the cloakrooms at the opera.
This beautiful vintage hat is covered in elegant black silk which hides the collapsible metal components inside.
A narrow black grosgrain ribbon adorns the outer band of the hat and terminates on the right side in a dashing square bow.
You will find that the interior of the top hat is lined with a combination of breathable black cotton and black satin.
A drawstring allows the wearer to tighten or loosen the cotton panel, making the size more appropriate.
Two marks are embossed in vivid gold on the underside of the crown, the first of which includes the hat's designers', Dunlap & Co., logo. This is followed by a retailer's mark which reads "London Hat House, Dayton Ohio".
Dunlap & Co. was a well renowned American haberdasher with locations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
It was not unusual for retailers in different state to import the hats and sell them in their own local shops.
This beautiful hat likely dates from the late 1910's to early 1920's.
We are pleased to say that it comes in its original hatbox, which features an array of beautifully rendered graphics.
The box's lid says "Fashionable Opera Hat" in big, bold letters.
Though the hat box is very worn, showing a number of tears and cosmetic issues, the top hat remains in very good vintage condition, showing only a small amount of wear and a few light spots here and there.
We know you'll love the way this beauty looks in your collection.
Note: rabbit not included.
Measurements: Interior circumference: 22 1/2", Brim is 1 3/4" wide, Brim circumference: 35", Hat height: 5 3/4", 218 grams Box is 13" long, 11 1/2", and 3 1/2" tall, 335 grams Total Weight: 553 grams (1 lb., 4 oz)
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