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1860s straw bonnet

#7412 $500

Plaited straw bonnet, c.1868

By the late 1860s, bonnets were reduced to small decorative objects perched on top of elaborate coiffures. The look was daring and coquettish in its time.

Made from rows of two-tone plaited straw ribbon, the charming bonnet sports a textured saw toothed edge on each row, creating a three-dimensional effect. It is wired all around to hold the jaunty shape.

The inside of the brim is embellished with ruched blue satin ribbon; and the outside with brown taffeta ribbon that forms the ties. Residing for many years in a private collection, this charming bonnet is in all original condition, maintaining design integrity.

At the end of Swann's Way, volume 1 of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, the narrator returns to the Bois de Boulogne 30 years after first visiting the park as a boy in the early 1870s. He hoped to recapture the magical impression of the styles of his youth, only to be deeply disappointed.

I wanted to see if they were as charming as they remained in my memory, little women's hats, so low-crowned as to seem no more than garlands. But all the hats now were immense, crowned with fruits and flowers and birds.

The condition is almost excellent. On one of the ties are a few minor splits.

One size fits all. The bonnet is 4" from front to back.

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