People and Brands:
Medium: Black beaver with silk grosgrain
Date: c. 1890
Credit: Gift of Jessie Hill and Laura Ault
The preeminent masculine accessory of the 19th century, the top hat, was in perfect harmony with the increasing simplicity and sophistication of menswear. While top hats were worn throughout the day during the 19th century, by the 1890s they were more often associated with formal attire. The top hat became fashionable during the closing years of the 18th century and remained an essential element of fashionable dress for men into the early years of the 20th. Top hats were originally made of beaver fur and felt. During the 1850s, however, silk plush began so be used as an affordable alternative.
Object Number: 81.138.66