The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Friday, 31 December 2010

Hat for the Upper Class

Whilst in Devon talk arose of a top hat and case that John's father had bought many a year ago that was in the attic, shortly to go on a journey to London, to John's sister's house for display. So it was taken out to all our fascination I particularly liked the box as I haven't seen one like this before.

The workmanship in the leather case is beautiful, it would be fascinating to find out more about top hats and their time and usage, this hat has obviously traveled extensively though equally it could be a different hat from the original.

Back to the idea of how we view and interpret an object we have preconceived notions of the Top Hat and the romance of the Upper Classes, it was reportedly introduced in 1797 by haberdasher John Heatherington, and caused ladies to swoon and to create such public disturbance meant a fine of £50, the hat quickly became de rigeur for the upper classes. So did the one pictured lead a life of glamour or intrigue, was it just for high days and holidays of a mill manager or the owners working hat. Does the object naturally evoke these thoughts and ideas or is it necessary to be given more input through objects and information to inform the interaction so it s not quickly passed by - oh its just a top hat.

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