Leather Top Hat & Traveling Case

historical artifacts in ct

ca. 1900

Young Brothers, New York

Top hats for men have been worn in the West since the late 18th century and are still de rigeur for the most formal occasions: as an invitation to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, for example, requires gentlemen to wear unadorned top hats of black or grey. When JFK gave his inaugural address bare-headed – the first time that had been done – commentators call it “The death of the top hat”.

This sealskin hat (initialed “B.G.B.”) and its accompanying case were manufactured in New York City. A top hat made by the same company in 1898 – that one of silk – is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum.

Posted in