Author Topic: Top hat styles and dates  (Read 1504 times)

Offline cnwcywig

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 28
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Top hat styles and dates
« on: Saturday 16 December 17 08:33 GMT (UK) »
Is anyone here an expert in identifying a particular style of top hat, and suggesting a likely date?

Does the  period of the hat match the style of the other clothes or furniture? Can you tell anything about the wearer from the style of his hat?

All I can get from some basic searches is that it most closely resembles the Oxford or Collegian hat, but has a pronounced widening bell shape rather than stove-pipe, with a very thin brim and restrained curve, ie unlike a Dandy.

Many thanks

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Online Treetotal

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,621
  • Great Grandma Capes
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #1 on: Monday 18 December 17 22:42 GMT (UK) »
Not sure of this one....leaning towards 1880s, so bringing it back up the board for Jim to take a look. Could you post a scan of the whole photo including the back if you have as it can help with dating.
Carol
CAPES Hull. KIRK  Leeds, Hull. JONES  Wales,  Lancashire. CARROLL Ireland, Lancashire, U.S.A. BROUGHTON Leicester, Goole, Hull BORRILL  Lincolnshire, Durham, Hull. GROOM  Wishbech, Hull. ANTHONY St. John's Nfld. BUCKNALL Lincolnshire, Hull. BUTT Harbour Grace, Newfoundland. PARSONS  Western Bay, Newfoundland. MONAGHAN  Ireland, U.S.A. PERRY Cheshire, Liverpool.
 
RESTORERS:PLEASE DO NOT USE MY RESTORES WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION - THANK YOU

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Ruskie

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,551
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #2 on: Monday 18 December 17 22:59 GMT (UK) »
Not sure, but I think it looks like an image from a book rather than a photograph Carol.

I would expect the hat to be placed with the brim on the table rather than upside down as it is. I wonder if that is significant? :) I'm probably wrong about that as it might wobble if placed on it's brim.

He's obviously a well to do gent.

It looks like the Empire or Victorian to me:
http://www.silktophats.eu/historytophat.html
which probably fits with him looking like a chap from the Victorian era. :)

I can't see his collar arrangement clearly but it makes me think 'clergyman'.

Offline Wiggy

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,604
  • coloured by Gadget
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 05:44 GMT (UK) »
Makes me think of Charles Dickens characters, so I am thinking 1800s.

Have one of my GG-Grandfather with his top hat - just like this i.e. Upturned but not quite as tapered.  Taken quite early - '50- 60s.

Agree with you Ruskie . . . . Does look like book illustration.

Wiggy
Gaunt, Ransom, McNally, Stanfield, Kimberley. (Tasmania)
Brown, Johnstone, Eskdale, Brand  (Dumfriess,  Scotland)
Booth, Bruerton, Deakin, Wilkes, Kimberley
(Warwicks, Staffords)
Gaunt (Yorks)
Percy, Dunning, Hyne, Grigg, Farley (Devon, UK)
Duncan (Fife, Devon), Hugh, Blee (Cornwall)
Green, Mansfield, (Herts)
Cavenaugh, Ransom (Middlesex)
 

 Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.

Offline McGroger

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,077
  • Convicts, Commoners and Outlaws
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 09:29 GMT (UK) »
An old (Australian) photo-dating book I recently borrowed from the library has round toes on menís boots commencing 1876 (replacing square toes) and then pointed toes starting in about 1885. Itís not easy to see, but I think he has round toes rather than square or pointed. And doesnít he seem to be showing them off! And donít they look shiny and new!

So, all things considered - and with all fingers crossed - Iím going for 1880 give or take a couple of years.

Peter
Convicts: COSIER (1791); LEADBEATER (1791); SINGLETON (& PARKINSON) (1792); STROUD (1793); BARNES (aka SYDNEY) (1800); DAVIS (1804); CLARK (1806); TYLER (1810); COWEN (1818); ADAMS[ON] (1821); SMITH (1827); WHYBURN (1827); HARBORNE (1828).
Commoners: DOUGAN (1844); FORD (1849); JOHNSTON (1850); BEATTIE (& LONG) (1856); BRICKLEY (1883).
Outlaws: MCGREGOR (1883) & ass. clans, Glasgow, Glenquaich, Glenalmond and Glengyle.

Offline cnwcywig

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 28
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 09:35 GMT (UK) »
Thank you - very interesting.
I deliberately didn't reveal all I know, as I wanted to discover if anything could be deduced from the hat alone, uninfluenced by extraneous information.
I found the picture online, with no source attributed.
The subject was my great great grandfather, a clergyman who lived from 1807-1879. I have no information about his character at all, so I wondered if something as personal as a hat might just possibly say something about the wearer.

It struck me that the hat was quite tall, perhaps pointing to early rather then later Victorian?
Also that it has a pronounced widening at the top, not straight-sided  like a stovepipe or more modern shallower hat.
The brim has very little turn-up, unlike the Empire suggested, and what strikes me as quite a modest sweep front to back.
My guess would have been the choice of a would-be dandy, restrained as befitting a clergyman, but with a touch of man-about-town showing through? On the other hand, he is as pointed out mistreating his hat. This advice from the website of Oliver Browwn, hatters, of Chelsea:

"When wearing an antique top hat, special care should always be taken when setting it down on a flat surface. Always set the hat down upright, with the brim of the hat on the table. This maintains the condition of the crown, which is vulnerable to damage, and once worn can never be repaired, only blackened to minimise the effect of the damage."




Apart from basic stuff like family and catalogue of his livings, the only interesting thing I know about him is that as a young man he accidentally took his brother's eye out with a gun!
As with all family history, it's so frustrating that relatives didn't ask more questions of older members when they were alive. His daughter lived to 95 and my father knew her, his grandmother, well, so he could have asked her about her family and upbringing.



Online jim1

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,950
  • ain't life grand
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 09:52 GMT (UK) »
All very typically 1870's. Without seeing all of it I couldn't say which part of the decade.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Offline cnwcywig

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 28
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 10:39 GMT (UK) »
That seems to settle it - thank you very much indeed.
 So it was in the last decade of his life. Not an outdated hat then from his younger days, but reasonably in fashion?

There's no more to see - that's the whole photograph.

Offline Ruskie

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,551
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Top hat styles and dates
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 11:05 GMT (UK) »
Difficult to know for sure, but I would expect to learn more about his character from his occupation of Clergyman, rather than his hat.  :-\

Might the hat be a photographer's prop anyway, rather than his own?