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Top Hat Identification

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Oxfam Rachel, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Oxfam Rachel

    Oxfam Rachel Registered Guest

    Hello, we have this beautiful old probably silk top hat that has been donated into our charity store. I have been trying to ID the maker but I'm struggling! Would any of you possibly have come across it before? The three letters includes a C, which I think belongs to the little 'o' to create and co?! I'd really appreciate your help, it's such a lovely donation and we'd like to be able to value and describe it accurately. IMG_20200911_132401957.jpg IMG_20200911_132412065.jpg IMG_20200911_132429376.jpg IMG_20200911_132435985.jpg IMG_20200911_132401957.jpg
    Retro Ruth likes this.
  2. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Hello and welcome. The other letters look like H and A to me, but I'm not sure in which order. I think you may be right about & Co

    Not that this helps much! A.H. & Co or H.A. & Co
    Oxfam Rachel likes this.
  3. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    I sure wish I could help as I have seen and handled hundreds of top hats over the years. There were literally hundreds of makers, especially in England and rest of the UK. And in the USA too of course. What I can say is is a very fine hat, and looks to be in excellent condition as well. It is made of a hatter's plush, a silk panne made to imitate beaver felt. The interior is near pristine, and the silk Petersham trim looks excellent also. Really a beautiful top hat.

    The thistle in the design could be clue, as that indicates the maker may have been Scottish or the location of the maker was in Scotland.

    While we do not give valuations on the VFG Forums, yours is way above average. If it is a large head size you have added $$$ there. Can you measure around the inside bottom edge?
    Oxfam Rachel and Retro Ruth like this.
  4. Oxfam Rachel

    Oxfam Rachel Registered Guest

    Thanks for your help, both of you! It's not a particularly large size, I'd say about a men's medium. (I know this because I have a very large head for a lady and it doesn't fit me lol) it is however very lovely and is indeed in great condition, so hopefully, thanks to this lovely customer, we can raise some funds from it. And I'll keep telling my volunteers to keep their hands off it lol
    Retro Ruth likes this.
  5. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Yes, a very good idea to not let the volunteers play around with it. It has survived so well at this point. The silk edges can easily fray or tear, and picking it up by the brim edge can cause a wrinkle in the silk or worse, a crack in the brim's inner foundation. Plus the acid and oils in the hand and hair can damage it down the line over time.

    I suggest you do measure it around the inner circumference to determine the actual head size. It not only effects the value, but also many want to wear a hat and need to know if it will fit.

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