Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


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Mrs. Don Fishberg, Parlor Millinery, 539 Central Ave, Dover, New Hampshire

Date Created



Women's costume accessories; Worn costume accessories; Headgear


Straw, velvet, cotton, buckram, wire, ribbon, artificial flowers


1880s. Bonnet made of light brown straw braided into strips and sewn together over a buckram form. The entire edge is supported with wire.

Flat straw is braided into a long strip 1.3 cm / 0.5 in. wide with a narrow, tightly-worked three-strand braid wrapped through the outer edge to create a picot effect. Beginning at center back, the strip is sewn to itself in an overlapping spiral that expands to form the entire bonnet. The brim is turned up at the top and the crown makes a sharp angle as it transitions from its sides to the back panel of the bonnet. Brown grosgrain ribbon with picot edges is tied into multi-lobed bows at the top right and left sides of bonnet. Cream velvet chrysanthemums with purple accents are attached in the center of the ribbon decoration. Brown velvet ribbon edges the bottom of the bonnet and is released to create the ties in front. A small knot of the same ribbon is sewn to it at center back.

A narrow length of brown velvet fabric covers the front edge around the face, and another, wider piece of velvet lines the rest of the brim, leaving a gap between the two. A band of the straw braid is sewn in place just beneath the velvet-covered edge with its picots silhouetted against the velvet. A third strip of velvet fabric is sewn into a tube and placed to cover both the straight edge of the straw braid and the edge of the brim lining, positioned so that its seam is visible and creating the impression that it has a lengthwise pleat. The rest of the bonnet is lined in black glazed cotton, finished in back with a hem forming a channel for a cotton ribbon, along which the lining is gathered to an opening that reveals the milliner’s label stamped in gold on the back panel of the bonnet. Professionally made. Hand-sewn.


Depth: 5.1 cm / 2 in. (depth of brim)
Depth: 7 cm / 2.75 in. (depth of crown)
Height: 12.7 cm / 5 in. (height of crown)
Length: 61 cm / 24 in. (length of tie)


Gift of Misses Margaret Hamilton Ffrost and Elizabeth Rollins Ffrost. Bonnet is stamped with Mrs. Don Fishberg, Parlor Millinery, 539 Central Ave, Dover, New Hampshire. Likely worn by Martha Hale Low Ffrost (1842-1925), mother of the donors, or Margaret Hamilton Ffrost (1874 to at least 1856) in and around Dover, New Hampshire.

Museum Number



University of New Hampshire Library


Astrida Schaeffer, photographer/curator

Date Digitized


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


The Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection digital catalog was produced by the UNH Library Digital Collection Initiative, supported in part by a grant from the Mooseplate program and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Additional funding provided by the E. Ruth Buxton Stephenson Memorial Fund.
Photography copyright, Astrida Schaeffer.

Ffrost-Sawyer_history.pdf (75 kB)
Ffrost-Sawyer history


Women’s garments, Accessories worn, Head, Headgear, Hats, Bonnets (hats), 1880s, Dover, New Hampshire, United States, Brim, Crown (hat component), Straw (plant material), Silk (textile), Cotton (textile), Buckram, Wire, Ribbon (material), Artificial flowers, Chrysanthemum (genus), Velvet (fabric weave), Glazed cotton, Polished cotton, Grosgrain, Braided, Picot, Light brown, Brown (color), Cream (color), Purple (color), Black (color), Label (identifying artifact), Milliner, Hand-sewn, Hamilton Ffrost (donor), Rollins Ffrost (donor), Ffrost (donor), Frost (donor)


item origin