COLLECTION: Costume Accessories

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Woman's cap, ruffled net and ribbons

Origin: England or America
OH approx. 11"
Cotton net; silk ribbons
Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund
Acc. No. 2016-80
Woman’s sheer net and ribbon cap. The cap is formed with a double pleated cotton net ruffle framing the face and extending around the neckline. The high puffed crown is overlaid with two horizontal ribbons stitched through the net with a darned pattern. Wider satin stripe ribbons form trimmings: one bow at center back, two bows at the front crown, one trailing down and tacked into loops at both sides near the ears; and ribbon ties that fasten under chin.
Label:Women’s caps of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were frequently masterpieces of the milliner’s trade, the most elaborate examples being embellished with lace, ribbons, and flowers. Although fancy caps frequently appear in portraits of the period, their delicate textiles seldom survived the rigors of wear and passing time. This delightful cap from the 1820s is a confection of starched and pleated net, silk ribbon ties, and bowknots. The shape of the cap follows the fashionable hairstyles of the 1820s, when topknots of hair were fastened high on the head.