What is a Zucchetto, or for that matter what is a Ushanka? The first is a skull cap worn by clerics, the second is a fur hat with fold down ear flaps. The world of the hat is a bigger and far more exciting one than you may think.
In a tomb in Thebes in Egypt was found the earliest painting of a hat, showing a man wearing a conical straw hat, around 3200 BC. Hats have been around forever. For the ladies there are the Picture, Halo, Cartwheel, Mushroom, Cloche and Pill Box hats to name just a few. For the gentlemen there are the Baseball, Bicorne, Deerstalker, Fez, Bowler and Panama just to scratch the surface. Perhaps we should start having specialist hat auctions.
Talking of hats, one character I would love to have met is Michael Moore. Michael sounds to me to have been a lovely man, generous to a fault and loved by all who knew him. Michael was a Sheffielder who made hats for shows, mostly musical shows and his first venture into show hat making was in 1968 when he made the ‘Siamese’ hats for a production of the King and I, by what is now the Southey Musical Theatre Company.
From 1968 until the day he died Michael made hats for hundreds of shows and thousands of people. He also formed the Dance Workshop with his partner Tony Gibson and again was responsible for all the hats and costumes.
This weekend, thanks to instructions from Michael’s executors, among our lots on offer are the remains of his hats and hat making materials. A very interesting section.
Senior Valuer Michael Dowse
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