Your Weekend Wow

In the early 19th century the custom and standard was for married women to cover their hair with a light cap. Caps were worn in the house and covered with a bonnet when going out-of-doors. Fashion, location and economic status dictated shape, materials and construction so, thankfully, quite a range of surviving examples exist. But I rarely see one photographed to show clear, close-up detail. Thanks to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, one such image is available.

And for those of us who have wondered just how fine cotton mull was, this provides the answer. The net inserts look coarse in comparison.

Woman’s cap, American, about 1815. Embroidered mull cap with puffed crown and ruffled edge; circular floral pattern embroidered at top of crown with lace insertions in blossoms and eyelets; seven diamond-shaped puffed net inserts around crown; band of eyelets with leaf motifs within overall pattern of V-shaped motifs; lace ruffle at edge. Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States; Place of Manufacture: (fabric) probably India. Accession number: 49.956.

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