Silk, cotton, other textile
Overall: 6 1/4 x 14 x 9 in. ( 15.9 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm )
Tricorn hat with sewn-in crown; stiff woven-ground base fabric and cotton ground with black silk plush (faux beaver) surface; black grosgrain ribbon around base of hat; remnants of tie-back and stitch marks possibly for cockade; binding lacking.
Beaver hats were among the most fashionable clothing items for men in 18th-century New York and throughout Europe. Most beaver pelts were trapped in North America, and the prosperity of early New York was largely owed to beaver trapping. The gradual depletion of beaver in the northeast led to a variety of imitations, ranging from other animal furs to silk. This "beaver" hat is actually made of silk plush fibers adhered to a cotton ground, a technique introduced in the 1780s.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.