More Extant CapsThere are still a few more museums to cover with extant caps in their collections. If anyone has leads to others that I have missed, a heads up would be greatly appreciated. I am of the understanding there is a girl's cap at Cherry Hill in New York, and rumors of a cap in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If anyone is aware of others please let me know!
Baby caps are everywhere. Instead of saving baby's first shoe, saving a baby cap seems like a shared behavior since so many survive. They are the sweetest things and I will spend some time on them in the future as well. But for now the focus is on adult caps.
A visit to the National Trust site in Great Britain turns up baby caps along with a girl's cap and adult caps.
If anyone has not visited the National Trust site, it can eat up many hours of your time. It is a very search friendly website. http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/
This cap is of interest but later than my time frame. However! The construction details seen in this cap are also seen in earlier caps.
This cap consists of caul/bag (the puffy part in the back), band (the strip of fabric next to the caul) and two borders. Each border would be attached to its own band. The borders look like they were ruffled, and they have a deep hem in the front. I would guesstimate the date of this cap as well past 1785.
Another cap from the National Trust of note is a child's cap. I am focusing on this because all of the details of this cap are found in adult caps in Manchester City Galleries. According to the site this cap fits a 2-4 year old. Without that indication as to size, it would be a woman's cap in style and construction. I would give this a date range of 1740s-1760s.
Working from the back forward, this cap has a caul, large shaped band, another band of fine linen attached to the shaped band and a border of lace. Why the lace is not attached to the first band will become clear when we look at portraits and prints. It does seem at first take, as an unnecessary step.
You can clearly see how the back of the caul is gathered in this image.
Here is the narrow band of fine linen with lace attached. This band actually becomes shaped and narrower as it goes around the curve at the bottom. Almost disappearing. The strings at the bottom of the cap appear to be in a continuous casing. Very similar to the cap at the MFA in the first section on caps in this blog which also appeared to have the string running inside a casing a the base of the cap.
Notice how the lace is gathered to go around the curve, a construction detail seen in aprons going around a corner as well.
This next cap is a beauty. If one goes by the dimensions given in mm it is 1 3/4 inches long and 6 inches deep which makes no sense. But it could be a doll's cap and that is ok. It is the only surviving heart shaped cap that I have seen so far that was not on a doll's head or in a portrait.
The cap is laid flat for photography, but that is perfect for showing how the cap is actually constructed. I see no band, just the ruffle attached to the caul.
I am not an expert on lace, but the lace of the caul does not appear to exactly mimic the lace on the border, but I know there are more educated lace eyes out there who might contribute an opinion!