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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1908-1910 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Henry (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaited straw, cotton, velvet ribbon, lined with taffeta

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA6

Hats reached an immense size in the early 20th century. This very fashionable example from 1910 is made of a fine black straw. It has an outsize crown, which would have been supported by the piled-up hairstyles of the time. Long hat-pins would have secured the hat to the hair. Hats were often lavishly trimmed, and with its mass of purple cotton artificial flowers, this is no exception.

The hat and dress (see T.23&A-1960) were both worn by Miss Heather Firbank (1888-1954). She was a beautiful, wealthy young woman who bought her expensive, high-style clothing from leading London couturiers, such as Lucile, Redfern and Mascotte. She favoured purple and heather tones, which complemented her name. The Museum holds a wide range of clothing and accessories from Heather's wardrobe between 1905 to 1921.

Physical description

Large black plaited straw hat with a wide brim and a broad, domed and deep crown trimmed with an abundant quantity of small white, purple and green cotton artificial flowers. Edged underneath with black velvet ribbon. The crown is lined in black taffeta. Drawstring for adjustment now missing.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1908-1910 (made)


Henry (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Plaited straw, cotton, velvet ribbon, lined with taffeta

Marks and inscriptions

Henry 9 Dover St W
On label, gold lettering on black

Object history note

Worn by Miss Heather Firbank

Descriptive line

Plaited straw hat with a wide brim and a broad, domed and deep crown trimmed with cotton flowers, designed by Henry, London, 1908-1910


Straw; Cotton; Artificial flowers




Fashion; Accessories; Hats & headwear; Women's clothes; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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