1920s Franklin Simon & Co. Wool Felt Bowler/Derby Hat
Originally designed in 1849 to protect British gameskeeper's heads from low-hanging branches while riding horseback, the bowler (or derby as it's known in America), has become an iconic topper thanks to Hollywood.
This round, fitted chapeaux was famously donned by many comedy greats including Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy.
This particular topper is a great example of 1920s millinery. It is fashioned in a soft, suede like wool felt, with a slightly upturned brim. Edge is lined in black petersham and the hat band is made of a matching 1" black petersham. Sweatband is a thin, soft dark brown leather and has the initials C. W. K. monogramed in gold on the inside.
Unfortunately, this hat is missing its lining, so we have no idea who created it, but the material feels like it came from a high-end New York millinery company and it was sold in an exclusive Fifth Avenue shop.
Size: 7 1/8 (22.25")
Label: Sold by Franklin Simon & Co. Original maker's label missing.
Slight wear to the wool on the flat edges of the outside brim. Crown has a few small dents that cannot be seen but can be felt when running your hand over it. The petersham trim around the edges is dingy from age. There is some slight staining and green discoloration on the underside of the brim near the back. Hat also is missing its original lining. Priced accordingly.