SPECTACULAR!! That is by far the nicest and well preserved pre-civil war top hat I have ever seen. Most definitely a museum piece!! And the fact that you found a newspaper from 1858 under the sweatband is just remarkable. It appears that people have been padding sweatbands with newspaper for a lot longer than I had originally thought. This hat seriously just gave me goosebumps. One day I will have a pre civil-war/civil war top hat in my collection. That's on the bucket list for sure!
Astounding condition!!! Looks like something Isambard Brunell would have worn.
Garrett!!! Long time no talk, bro. Just FYI, I finally took that great topper you sold me 4 years ago to Worth and Worth to have it refurbished. The owner there told me it dates to the 1880s. Anyhow, they did a great job and it looks fabulous now!
It gives me food for thought about the history of the D'Orsay curl. Silk tats around the 1860s don't seem to have them, which makes me wonder if they are a later addition to silk hats. I'd like to know if the D'Orsay was applied first to the Bowler, then the Derby, and the Silk hats, but have no way to know for sure. I don't know that we've ever seen photos of Bowlers from the 1850s to see what type of curl they sported.
I was down in the Lincoln Library south of me down into Illinois and many of the toppers had the "fur" or silk on the underbrim on the flat brimmed toppers.
It makes an interesting question. So, why did they stop putting the silk under? Was it because of the curl and larger ribbon bound edging? Made it easier to do, or something? Why the green cloth underneath in all later topers than the 1860s era toppers?
And, by the way, that is a bee-ute! It is very hard to find toppers in such good condition from before the 1890s. For what ever reason that extra 20 or 30 years in age makes them harder to find. What a great, historic piece.