#2700 $850 Sold
Silk poke bonnet with original decoration, 1820s
For a truly special piece, I am willing to break the rules about the importance of condition. This charming bonnet is one of those exceptional antique pieces; and it makes a wonderful display. The bonnet's vivid image holds the attention of the viewer and then lingers in the mind. Is this due to the rich blue hue or perhaps because of the palpable originality of the decoration?
The bonnet preserves design integrity, the realization of the designer's original concept. If the garment in its original condition made a fine design statement, then the preservation of the original condition is what gives value to the piece.
It was fashioned with a covering of teal blue satin over a stiffened frame and is lined with pale blue satin. The lining has a hand sewn inventory number tag, indicating the bonnet was deaccessioned from a museum or historical society. The silk ribbon ties appear to be original.
The importance of a bonnet and its ribbons to a young lady of style is obvious from this excerpt from letter of Jane Austen to her sister: "Eliz: has given me a hat, & it is not only a pretty hat, but a pretty stile of hat too. It is something like Eliza's; only instead of being all straw, half of it is narrow purple ribbon."
The condition is good. The bonnet is structurally sound. However, the surface has some abrasion; and one of the ribbon ties has been mended. Nevertheless, with its rich blue color and original decoration, the bonnet is a show stopper.
It measures 10" from front to back.