Object of the Month – March

Another month, another Object of the Month!

March’s Object of the Month has come from our costume collection, a rare bonnet from the 1840s.


Etiquette demanded that your head should be covered in the 19th century. In the 1840s women wore lace caps indoors and bonnets outdoors. Fashion followed the young Queen Victoria and it was considered proper for a woman to shelter her face with a wide bonnet brim like this example.

Headwear fashion changed more often than other items of clothing. Hat styles changed annually but dresses lasted a decade. Although the bonnet shape stayed the same it was regularly updated with new trimmings and fabrics. Most women purchased a new hat each year. The less well off made do by covering an old hat themselves. Traditionally new clothes would be worn to the Easter service, for many this meant a new bonnet at Easter.

This rare bonnet is made from cane and net covered with brown velvet and silk.


Posted on March 3, 2015, in Object of the Month and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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