Friday, February 4, 2011
"My Wedding Bonnet" October 23, 1878
The is an especially noteworthy hat, hatbox and original label, found in the textile and costume collection at Strawbery Banke Museum. Recently photographed by Ellen McDermott, this beauty offers abundant and complex views and textures. The bonnet was worn by Celia Amanda Elsie Fall Hussey (1855-1944) of Great Falls, NH and was donated by her granddaughter, Mrs. Dorothea S. Thompson of York, ME.. The wedding was held on October 23, 1878 and the accompanying dress (soon to come) is also in the collection.
The bonnet is of white or cream felted material attached to a buckram base with a pointed crown featuring a large bow of cream brocade, highlighted by maroon, pink and green brocaded floral motif. The eye grabbing white ostrich feathers crest the bonnet. A brim of maroon velvet encircles the composition. Matching ribbon streamers are affixed to each side. Overall, the condition is good with the feathers being somewhat fragile.
Imported from France ca. 1875-1878, this indicates just how fashionable New Hampshire brides were. From the French millinery import and retail shop of Joaquin & Cie. 277 Rue Saint Denis, to New York (58 West 14th Street) and then to Boston (32 Temple Place) and either through a Boston or Portsmouth shop, the purchase played an important role in the day of this bride. Not everyone can carry off such a piece, which no doubt it caused a few heads to turn and nod with appreciation.