Bonnet Blocks

I finally photographed each of the plaster millinery blocks today. I’ve been meaning to do this for weeks months.

Lucking upon this last block was a push to get the photos taken. I took each block into the photo studio, aka the converted second bathroom, and let them take their turn on the turn table* I took about twenty photos of each, making sure to capture each side thoroughly as well as the markings I love.

My goal is to create a virtual display of graphics for each block with corresponding fashion illustrations and example bonnet(s). This is going to take me a while to get together. In the meantime, here is a line-up of the bonnet blocks spanning from 1859 through 1867.

Bonnet block time line 1

Click to enlarge

The image is a little deceiving because I sized all the photos to three inches, when in fact these decrease in size from left to right. The 1865 fanchon, the fifth from the left, is half the size of the first bonnet block.


*Can I call this a turn table rather than a lazy susan? Is a turn table solely a record player? A lazy susan seems so contrary to how I am using it.


Love If I Had My Own Blue Box or A Milliner’s Whimsy?

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Published in: on July 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for sharing. Fascinating progression!

    The term turntable has almost been taken over by record players and giant rail-yard utility devices, but technically still means any rotating platform. When used for other purposes I usually see it with an adjective that helps keep your mind’s eye off LPs, like “pantry turntable,” etc.

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