Marie Stuart Bonnets

Here is a survey of fashion illustrations, CDVs and extant Marie Stuart bonnets to accompany my newest bonnet on Etsy – This fashionable Marie Stuart Straw Bonnet.

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Variations of the Marie Stuart shaping to millinery appear in caps and bonnets off and on through the century.

In the years just prior to the Civil War we see the Marie Stuart bonnet reammerge along side the cottage bonnet and the spoon bonnet:

“Marie Stuart bonnets of white crape or lisse are very distinguished, ornamented only with a fall of very fine guipure lace, thrown back from the front and extending over the curtain. In Paris black ribbon is associated with blue, green or groseille in the decoration of rice, straw, chip or Leghorn bonnets.” (Frank Leslie’s New Family Magazine, August,1858)

“The shape if the bonnet is of the Marie Stuart genre, approaching near the forehead in front, and (evasee) sprung our at the sides, the ears being long and edged with lace, very narrowly. The brides or strings are of blue and white diagonal striped taffetas.” (Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine, February 1859)

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Marie Stuart Bonnet

“There are two shapes of bonnets which divide favor nearly equally; these are the Cottage and Marie Stuart patterns. The latter is distinguished for flaring away from the side of the head and rising to a point at the top of the head three inches back from the forehead. Milliners, who have a supply of bonnet foundations without the point in front are forming it of other material, which proves that bonnets which are not of the cottage shape must have a pointed border over the forehead, or they are ignored by our demoiselles.” (Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine, March 1859)

The Marie Stuart is, by most of our Milliners, regarded as the only style; but the Cottage Bonnet, with shirred crown, and the cap crown, is silently and surely winning its way for the next rage.” (Arthur’s Illustrated Home Magazine, May 1859)

For those wondering “Why this shape?”, here is a painting of Mary Stuart showing her distinctive millinery.

MS Frank Leslies Nov 1858

The “Maybe or Maybe nots”….. There are some bonnets that may or may not be Marie Stuart bonnets. If only we could actually hold them.

This bonnet from the MET’s collection may be a Marie Stuart or it may just have a squashed brim. The top of the brim does dip slightly creating a shallow curve in.

This image comes from The Graceful Lady. I wish I could get a closer look.

Published in: on March 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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