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.
This extraordinary Stetson top hat dates from mid 1800s and is a bold and beautiful example of the style.
Since its founding in the mid 19th century, the Stetson Hat Company has continued to produce some of the world's most innovative high-quality hats.
The hat is covered in elegant black satin grosgrain which hides the collapsible metal components inside.
A narrow ribbon of matching grosgrain wraps around the outer-band and culminates on the left side in an elegant square bow.
One side of the bow is ever-so-slightly frayed.
The interior of the hat is lined with a luxurious combination of genuine black leather and black grosgrain.
You will find an embossed mark on the right side of the leather band which reads "McCue Bros. & Drummond, New York", as well as a stamped mark reading "ERM" (likely the previous owner's monogram).
As you can see, the underside of the crown is lined with fine white satin and bears the traditional Stetson crest.
There is a very small area where the side of the hat has become detached from the flat crown, though it barely noticeable.
While we recommend handling it delicately, we're thrilled to say that this top hat still collapses and pops open beautifully.
It shows some minor wear and a few minor areas of discoloration, though the hat remains in excellent antique condition overall.
We know you'll love the way this beauty looks in your collection. Note: rabbit not included.
Measurements: Interior circumference: 21 1/2", Brim circumference: 34 3/4", Brim width: 1 7/8", Length (front to back): 12", Width (side to side): 10", Height: 5" (1 1/8" when collapsed), Crown length: 7 3/4", Crown width: 6 3/4", Height (brim to crown): 5 1/4" Weight: 222 grams (7.8 oz.)