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  • Claudia Isaby

    Immaculate Widow's cap with pleated top and sides, made of white woven silk or wool crape. The front of the cap is edged with rows of narrowly pleated crape. There is a large crape bow at the pointed centre front of the cap, and a large crape pom-pom at the back. (picture: Mandy Reynolds)

  • Katerina Miller

    1870 Widow's Cap Medium: silk A widow was required to mourn her husband for 2 ½ years in Victorian times. At this time it was correct for a widow in mourning to wear a white crape indoor cap, similar to this example. Most widow's indoor caps had panels of white crape falling from the cap down the wearer's back, and these were known - appropriately - as 'falls'. Falls on indoor caps measured around 30 to 36 inches and were generally pleated in the same white crape.

  • A C

    1870s cap

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Cap worn by Mrs. Anna Russel Rawson in approx. 1855. Came in a small band box, presumably the original, labelled, "Richmond's N.Y. Ladies Dress Caps".

I was looking around the internet and found this site about mourning. Could you imagine if we took a photo of the five of us mourning someone we lost, ........ we'd end up giggling.

A Victorian lady in mourning sports an eye-catchingly lovely hat (and ruffled collar) in this classic portrait studio shot from 1875.

1600-1625 Coif. Linen, silk and silver-gilt thread. Like a man's nightcap, a woman's coif was informal headwear. It would have been worn by itself indoors, or with a hat on top in public.

Silk cap by Charles James  (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978) Date: 1951

During the Victorian era, mourners sometimes collected their tears in gold decorated "tear bottles" to keep as a remembrance for the next of kin. It has also been said that the widows would go to the grave on the anniversary of the first year of death and sprinkle the tears on the grave to signify the end of the first year of mourning.

Black mourning dress reached its peak during the reign of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) of the United Kingdom in the second half of the 19th century. Queen Victoria wore mourning from the death of her husband, Prince Albert (1819-1861), until her own death. With these standards in place, it was considered a social requisite to don black from anywhere between three months to two and a half years while grieving for a loved one or monarch. The stringent social custom existed for all classes.

Mourning Kerchief Date: ca. 1885 Culture: American Medium: Silk Dimensions: 27 15/16 x 30 5/16 in. (71 x 77 cm) Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Accession Number: 2009.300.6224

Mourning Dress Date: ca. 1883 Culture: American Medium: silk, jet Accession Number: 1979.346.53 The Metropolitan Museum of Art