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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1845 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cardboard, linen, silk, cotton, wire; hand sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Messrs Harrods Ltd.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Covering one’s head was an essential aspect of etiquette in the 19th century. During the 1840s, women wore caps indoors and bonnets outdoors. The bonnet has wide brim sheltering the face, reflecting the heightened sense of propriety brought in when Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837.

Fashions in hats and headwear changed more quickly than other items of clothing. While a dress would be expected to last at least a decade, new styles of hats arrived annually. The latest fashion in bonnets usually featured the latest fabrics and trimmings, rather than a new shape. Most 19th-century women expected a new hat each year, even if it meant recovering an old one themselves. Personal accounts for this period show women buying new ribbons, laces, fabrics and trimmings to update their headwear.

Physical description

A bonnet made of cardboard and net, covered with brown velvet and trimmed with brown satin. The brim is lined with brown velvet and satin; the crown is unlined. The ties are of wide brown taffeta ribbon (ribbon not original; attached by Conservation in 1984). The bonnet is trimmed on the left side with artificial flowers made of wire, painted satin and green, yellow and pink muslin.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca. 1845 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cardboard, linen, silk, cotton, wire; hand sewn


Depth: 28.0 cm approx., Width: 19.5 cm approx., Height: 28.0 cm approx. - without ties


Cardboard; Linen; Silk; Millinery wire


Hand sewing


Clothing; Hats & headwear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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