A beautiful black silk velvet hand-made antique goldhaube (folk art bonnet, cap or hat) from southern Germany or Austria dating from the early 1800’s. This design is part of the traditional costume known as Tracht which originates from the Bavaria region of Germany. This haube has been intricately stitched and is made from black velvet with a white linen lining. There are delicate gold beadwork flowers covering the crown and goldwork around the edges.
Throughout history, goldwork has only been used on the best quality clothing and furnishings due to the expense of the material and the time taken to embroider. Also, the inability to launder the item on a regular basis due to its delicate nature would have meant that it was only used for very special occasions. Goldwork originated in Japan about 2000 years ago, it is the art of embroidery where metal threads are used to give the most luxurious finish, such as church vestments, clothing for royalty and military regalia.
The thread used in the goldwork on this haube is gold bullion (pieces of metal not always made of gold, sometimes gold coated silver or cheaper metals) held down with fine pieces of thread, usually silk. It has been hand stitched which can be clearly seen on the reverse and would have taken around 200 hours to create.
The hat dates from around 1830 and, although in very good condition, there is some wear to it. The velvet is very slightly worn away around the edges and the inside of the cap has discoloured over the years with slight foxing here and there.
This is a rare and fabulous piece of early German folk art!