Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Today’s photo features a rather tall hat. The feathers are possibly attached to an actual bird, which was a popular millinery style during the Victorian era. The height of the hat suggests to me either 1870s Natural Form or 1880-ish Second Bustle period. During the Natural Form period, the goal was to elongate the silhouette and make women seem as tall and willowy as possible. During the Second Bustle period, the large skirts needed to be counterbalanced by a smallish hat, but the height of the hat could be wearer’s choice. Note the sitter also has a fur muff and fur stole. These were the days long before the modern awareness of the problems with fur. These days, people who wish to use fur in their reproduction clothing either use good fakes or antique furs.

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