Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A 'Tete a Tete'..............

The above hand colored engraving is from 'Le Supreme Bon Ton' c1815, plate no 16. Its one of my favorite images, and is a caricature exaggerating how long and straight the new 'poke' bonnets had become~ that in order to have a conversation, a "Tete a Tete" with someone, you would have to stick your head right down the bonnet! LOL The bonnets, of coarse, weren't that extreme.......wellllllllllllllll...........mabey

This is in turn, one of my favoritest pieces in the collection~ c1810~15, is an early poke for an infant! It measures just 7" from back to front, and is entirely hand smocked. The bonnet would extend past the face of the wearer nearly 4"!! In order to see this little baby's face, a person definitely would have had to stick their head right down in that bonnet!

Here is a similar one, adult size, in period fashion plate from the Journal des Dames et des Modes, 1806. Muslin bonnets like this were starched & also sometimes wired, to keep them jetting foreword without drooping down into the face.
The above view is our little baby poke from the outside. You can see the wonderful hand smocking, with a double frill around the face, all hand rolled.
Baby poke from the inside~ just look at the hours of love and work that went into this~ spectacular!
The crown has been corded in a circular pattern. Quite different from quilting~ the channels were stitched first, then several strands of yarn/thread passed thru to fill them.


Barbara said...

LOVE the cartoon! Maybe this is why they were called "poke" bonnets. You had to "poke" your head in there to see who was wearing it! The baby bonnet is adorable and NO, I can't see going to that much work for someone who tormented me for 9 months!! I'll bet a "Grandma" made it! Ha! Ha!
LY, Mom

Rachael Kinnison said...

YES! this is indeed how they got their name of 'Poke' bonnets, and the baby one was most likely made while the mother was pregnant~ it would have been part of its Trousseau, or baby layette.

Suzanne said...

Wow! The detail and intricacy of these bonnets is amazing! Thanks for sharing Rachael.
Please stop by my blog when you have a moment....I'm having my 100th post give away!

Lorraine said...

Wow, Rachael! The girls of today should wear these out clubbing to keep the dorky guys away, haha!!
As always, I enjoy popping in, you always have such wonderful pieces to share:o)!