M.E. McQuade, 105 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Women's costume accessories; Worn costume accessories; Headgear
Felt, velvet, feathers, ribbon, glazed cotton, wire
1880s. Blue felt capote (bonnet) with no brim and a wired edge. Blue velvet fabric encloses the entire bonnet edge in a tightly ruched or gathered band. Behind this, more of the same fabric is loosely gathered and arranged at the top of the head, with a vertical band of blue feathers framing each side of the face below it.
A blue grosgrain ribbon tied in a two-lobed bow is sewn to the center top, falling toward the face opening. A burgundy velvet ribbon is similarly tied and sewn behind it. Blue grosgrain ribbon is folded or pleated lengthwise and sewn across the bottom back of the bonnet, releasing to become the bonnet ties.
The bonnet is lined in black glazed or polished cotton, sewn to the velvet in front and 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 at the back panel of the bonnet. Professionally made. Hand-sewn.
Depth: 12.7 cm / 5 in. (depth of crown)
Height: 15.2 cm / 6 in. (height of crown)
Length: 53.3 cm / 21 in. (length of tie)
Gift of Margaret Hamilton Ffrost and Elizabeth Rollins Ffrost. Bonnet is stamped with “M.E. McQuade 105 Boylston St. Boston”. Likely worn by Martha Hale Low Ffrost (1842-1925), mother of the donors, in and around Dover, New Hampshire. Miss M.E. McQuade is listed as a milliner with premises on Winter Street in Bowdoin, Massachusetts in the 1879-1881 Boston Directory, and the more prestigious Boylston Street address indicates the bonnet was made later during the 1880s.
University of New Hampshire Library
Astrida Schaeffer, photographer/curator
Creative Commons License
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Women’s garments, Accessories worn, Head, Headgear, Hats, Bonnets (hats), 1880s, Boston, Massachusetts, Dover, New Hampshire, United States, Crown (hat component), Gather (textile process), Ruched, Bows (costume accessories), Felt (textile), Velvet (fabric weave), Cotton (textile), Glazed cotton, Polished cotton, Wire, Feather (material), Ribbon (material), Grosgrain, Blue (color), Burgundy, Black (color), Gold (color), Milliner, Label (identifying artifact), Hand-sewn, Hamilton Ffrost (donor), Rollins Ffrost (donor), Ffrost (donor), Frost (donor)