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I have TWO days of listings this week so please view my sales again on Friday. I will be selling a number of interesting antiques including some tribal art, Chinese, and European antiques. PLEASE NOTE: This sale is in GB Pounds Sterling.

This is a very early beadwork baby's bonnet, I would imagine dating to c.1820/1830. The style of beadwork makes me think of Huron moosehair embroidery and I think this is a Woodlands piece perhaps decorated for a French colonial.

A superb example, it is decorated with small sized beads and in at least 12 different colours and also with metallic beads. The inside is strengthened with thick paper (an original touch and this has some lovely old handwriting to the edges but I can't make out anything from this). It is in wonderful overall condition with just some minor flaws, a few small holes and some disolouring through use and age. I am selling it at a very low starting price and with .

Please read down the entire listing for Dimensions, Condition, Postage & Payment Details - most of the information you will need is here on this page but please get in touch if you don't find what you are looking for. Condition & Dimensions Excellent overall condition considering the age. A few small holes on one side as photographed. A few missing beads but not many. Other areas of light wear and it is a bit dirty as you might imagine for a hat of well over 150 years old. Please email me for any more should you need any.

It measures about 7.2" / 18.2cms long.

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Postage & Packing For your peace of mind and mine items will be sent fully insured. I will be posting from TUESDAY 7TH JUNE to MONDAY 13TH JUNE so payment must be received by SUNDAY 12TH JUNE at the very latest. PLEASE be a little patient with the post - I will get them posted asap but I work on my own, often have a lot to post and I do pack carefully!

Please bear in mind that any delays by the postal services either at my end or abroad are rarely my fault. I always post out at the latest 3 working days after receiving cleared payment but sometimes an item is slowed up by a backlog of post or delayed whilst being processed through customs. To give you an idea it currently takes about 3-7 working days within Europe and 10- 14 working days to the U.S. / rest of the world. If speed is of the essence then I can use a courier (DHL / FEDEX etc.) but prices for couriers start at around £30 / £40GBP and VERY quickly escalate depending on size, weight and destination.

UK: 1st Class Recorded Delivery (insured to £46 only): £3.73 GBP.

UK: Special Delivery: £6.90 GBP.

Europe: £10.64.- Royal Mail Signed For Airmail. This figure includes £2.50 for insurance over £46 GBP. This is a signed for service which offers full or limited tracking (depending on your country).

U.S. and Rest Of World: £11.95 GBP.- Royal Mail Signed For Airmail. This figure includes £2.50 for insurance over £46 GBP. This is a signed for service which offers full or limited tracking (depending on your country) and insurance. Please do not ask me to falsify customs documents, thank you. Where possible I will of course combine shipping for multiple purchases (however if, for example, you win a walking stick and a box of some description this wouldn't be very practical!).

Please enquire with postage queries, requirements or any other questions you may have prior to offerding.

Payment Details (Important: Please Read) UK: PayPal.
Rest Of The World: PayPal only.
In the event of a recorded/traceable and insured item going missing in the post I will do everything in my power (provide proof of postage and evidence of value, etc.) to assist in obtaining a full refund from the postal service involved.

Finally, thank you for taking a look at my sale and please have a look at the other antiques I am saleing this week including two exceptional and early Native American beadwork hats, one Iroquois and one Woodlands; several very fine snuff boxes; a very rare large Zulu prestige container; a unique European 16th Century carving of the Pieta; an antique Ottoman Turkish metallic gold thread embroidery and several antique Goanese carvings.

On 26-May-11 at 20:03:52 BST, seller added the following information:

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On 01-Jun-11 at 21:48:42 BST, seller added the following information:

I have received several very interesting emails from an er regarding the bonnet and other thoughts as to its origin and because I have not managed to publish them all at the end of the listing I have decided to include them here for those who may be interested in reading them. My replies are in black. Thank you, Rob.

Hello Mr Temple, What a wonderful piece! I somehow have my doubts it is Native American, however. I can quite see why you might take it to be so but, judging by the style of floral work, I would suggest perhaps Scandinavian American settler's work, or something similar?

 Hello and thank you very much for your email which I will certainly publish on the listing. I would be very interested to see some supporting information for this as I have shown this bonnet to numerous people in various fields of expertise (incl. tribal art and European beadwork) and the general concensus of opinion was that the style was not typical of European (French / Swiss) bonnets. I myself believe it to be French colonial influenced American Indian beadwork after all many of the styles, patterns and stitching techniques that the Native American Indians employed in the 19th Century were heavily influenced by the European settlers.

The American link may be pertinent, but certainly a European cultural influence here. Several of the eastern European and Scandinavian peoples did similar styles of floral beadwork. I am thinking particularly of Transylvania and Poland, but also Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, and neighbouring countries. Have you seen 'Beadwork - A World Guide' by Crabtree & Stallybrass? Take a look at the folk beaded belt on p.163. The similarity to North American Indian beadwork is striking, but distinguishable. Of course, you're quite right, there was a certain amount of cross-fertlization that occurred between Native and other ethnic groups. I am thinking especially of Swedish immigrants in Minnesota, who had a direct influence on some of the beadwork produced by Great Lakes Indian nations such as the Chippewa.

Hello, Thank you very much again for your extremely informative and interesting email and indeed for your interest in the bonnet. The reason I made a connection with the French colonies was because of the 'à' which I could discern in the writing inside the bonnet, peculiar to the French language and yet the beadwork itself (particularly to the rear of the bonnet and the freedom of movement within the floral style I can find nowhere in French beadwork itself, the closest I have come to flowers, buds and leaves all growing and issuing from a single point was in Metis and Cree work, particularly one fabulous Cree Octopus bag which sold in Sotheby's. Although by no means identical the movement and use of space seems very similar to me.  In this example there is a wonderful twisting tendril, several examples of which can also be found on the bonnet and yet I have looked and not found this elsewhere. I will attach all the information you have given within the listing as well as publishing your email and will let buyers know that there have are several alternative thoughts on the bonnet.

The curled tendrils, while admittedly commonplace on Canadian subarctic beadwork, also occur in Polish and Transylvanian work. If you check out the Stallybrass & Crabtree reference I gave, you'll see very closely related floral forms. As I'm sure you're aware, floral beadwork, considered to be an obviously a European influence, varies greatly in detailing of flowers, leaves, buds, tendrils, and stems - not only across continents but also within North America and from tribal group to group. There are numerous details which set this floral style apart from Native American work, notably in the treatment of the border, the way some of the stems have been constructed, and the use of this particular type of metal effect beads. While metal beads were of course popular amongst many North American groups, they tend to be of the faceted type, steel or brass, and not these smooth beads. Hoping the above comments are of some help.

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