Antique Victorian Mens English Silk Plush Top Hat Luxembourg Size Small
Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing
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This is a quality antique silk plush top hat that was sold in Luxembourg at the turn of the century. The hat is made in a classic top hat form with tall crown and turned side brim. Both the edge and the crown are trimmed in woven metallic gold ribbon, unusual and very attractive. The gold ribbon is pleated and overlapped in five sections at the front. The side of the crown is decorated with a silk rosette ribbon in yellow and blue. It is lined in a copper brown coloured moiré silk with top that is gold stamped with the Royal Coat of Arms that has Queen Victoria’s crown above it and Mersch-Berweiler Luxembourg underneath it. Mersch-Berweiler was a “chapellier” (hat shop) that carried high-end hats made by Borsalino, Barbisio, Panizza and Zanetto. Due to the English coat-of-arms, I assume that this was made in England for the continental market. The sweatband is made of leather. There is a handwritten notation under the sweatband that reads “Riath (?) 1908” - this year doesn’t jive with the Victorian coat-of-arms, but certainly this hat dates to the late 19th or early 20th century. The opening measures 21 1/2” around the sweatband and 6 1/2” by 7 1/2” across the opening, so should accommodate a size 6 7/8 head, considered small - please, also note the cross dimensions, as the opening appears to be more round and less oval than standard sizes. The interior, under the sweatband, is stamped “4 1/2” (see close-up photo), which is a European sizing that I’ve seen on older Borsalino hats, but I’m unsure to the size equivalence. The crown measures 6” in height and flares out slightly at the top. It is in very good condition with the silk almost completely intact and no pronounced wear - the only “defects” are two pinholes in the rosette where they probably wore a pin of some sort, a tiny bald spot to the upper right of the rosette, very minor, minor wear to the leather sweatband and some dust accumulation to the under brim, which could be cleaned, but isn’t really pronounced, so the hat could be easily used as is (see all close-up photos).
This is a very nice quality English silk top hat with wonderful form and decoration - nice old piece!