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Sunday, 31 March 2013

1850s bonnets in detail

As Easter is traditionally a time for bonnets I though I'd dedicate this post to bonnets of one of my favourite eras - the 1850s.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to trim a blank bonnet form, so these images focus on the details of bonnet decoration from original items, photographs and fashion plates. Enjoy! :)

Corduroy Bonnet - Henry Ford Collection

Satin Beauty - Mirror Image Gallery

Silk Taffeta late 1850s - LACMA

Petersons Magazine 1855

1850s drawn bonnet - Henry Ford Costume Collection

Woman in Flowered Bonnet - MET collection

Straw bonnet 1856 - MET Collection

1850s straw bonnet - MFA Collection

Petersons Magazine 1858

Ambrotype by William Edward Kilburn - National Media Museum

Cotton and wool bonnet 1850-59 - MET collection

Straw bonnet - MFA collection

Woman in a bonnet with flowers - Cosmorochester collects

New Monthly Belle 1851

1850s straw and horsehair bonnet - MET collection

Possibly Mrs Haggerty, sister of Mathew Brady - LOC collection

Pretty victorian in bonnet - Mirror Image Gallery

French bonnet c.1850 - MFA collection

Arthurs magazine 1854

Mrs Cora Vail 1854 - Missouri History Museum

Lady in furs and bonnet by Plumbe - Mirror Image Gallery

 Ribbon detail, French bonnet c.1850 - MFA collection

Ribbon detail, Straw bonnet 1856 - MET collection

Aunt of Franz Friedrich - MET collection

Victorian beauty - Mirror Image Gallery


  1. Hello!

    I have enjoyed reading your blog, and applaud you on your research! I will be coming back to your site for inspiration for my next bonnet. Do you reenact the Civil War?


    1. Hello Kristen,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. I take part in Dickens Festivals in the UK, so tend to re-enact around the 1830 - 1863 period depending on character etc.
      Best Wishes, Rhea

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  3. Oh my goodness! All of these images are incredibly lovely!!! I love how the bonnets of the 1850s caused the face to look so very sweet!!

    1. Thank you :) It reminds me of my poor husband who the first time he saw me wearing my 1850s style bonnet warned me that it was falling off, to which I replied no dear, it's meant to look like that :D

    2. Ha! That is awesome! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply! I don't get a "replied to comment" notice....Aren't husbands darling!!!

  4. I just found your site and THANK YOU so much for this posting. I am completing my straw bonnet and this helped so much. I am a Docent (history interpreter) at our local 1850's Gold Rush town of Columbia, Ca.
    will keep your site on my favorites and check in often! Thanks againI