#7474 $1,650 ReservedRegency silk bonnet, c.1805-1815
Neoclassical white dresses were accessorized with bonnets with elaborate designs. As you can see in this c.1810 fashion plate, a lady could choose from endless variations of shape and decoration to complement her simple Neoclassical columnar dress.
Our olive brown silk bonnet features a stiffened brim to shield the wearer's face from the sun. A pale white skin was de rigueur among upper class ladies a century before Coco Chanel gave the sun tan its modern cachet.
The crown is lined with stiffened ivory linen; the brim is lined with ivory satin. The peaked-brim shape, rarely found on the market today, is a plus for the serious collector.
The hue of the silk, which appears faded on the brim, is actually uniform. The color variation in the pictures is caused by the reflection of the lighting on the fabric.
In contrast to the minimalism of the gowns, Regency bonnet design was wildly inventive with original shapes and elaborate decoration. A pristine Neoclassical gown was often a simple column in pure white.
The minimalism of the gowns is the aesthetic equivalent of that branch of philosophy which creates things by taking away their names. Conversely, Neoclassical bonnet design was the equivalent of the standard philosophical practice of creating things by naming them.
The condition is almost excellent. The all-original bonnet just shows gentle wear. The brim lining is slightly frayed along the outer edge.
It measures 16" from front to back.