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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1750-1770 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Feathers, linen and silk, hand-stitched with silk and linen thread

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with Art Fund support and assistance from the Friends of the V&A, and a number of private donors

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Wide-brimmed hats with shallow crowns were popular for women in the mid 18th century. They were often made in a range of materials such as straw, openwork, paper and ribbon. This example shows the use of feathers of common origin, such as those from cocks or guinea fowl, dyed in a variety of colours for a vivid effect. Such hats were worn as fashionable daywear with short jackets and petticoats. They demonstrate the 18th-century trend for taking items traditionally associated with working-class dress and transforming them into fashionable styles.

Physical description

A round hat with a shallow crown and wide brim decorated with cock and guineafowl feathers in natural colours and dyed blue, yellow, red and green. The feathers are stitched to a linen ground which is lined with blue taffeta.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1750-1770 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Feathers, linen and silk, hand-stitched with silk and linen thread


Diameter: 38.0 cm overall, Diameter: 13.2 cm crown, Height: 8.0 cm overall

Object history note

Formerly part of the Castle Howard Costume collection, the private collection of George Howard. Purchased on 7 October 2003 from the Sotheby's.

Historical significance: In the 18th century, wide-brimmed, shallow crowned hats were popular for women in a range of materials such as straw, openwork, paper, ribbons. This example demonstrates the use of feathers, of common origin, but dyed in a variety of colours.


Feathers; Silk; Linen


Hand sewing


Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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