AB: Shephard – 1000 Hats

(This is an entry in the Annotated Bibliography.)

Shephard, Norma. 1,000 Hats. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2006.

This large book contains a vast number of full-color photographs of well-preserved hats  and other headwear, the majority from the 20th century or later, with some from the 19th century and possibly the end of the 18th. The book is based around the collection in the author’s Mobile Millinery Museum. Unfortunately, the book seems to be quite disorganized, and has almost no information and when specific pieces date from, even for styles whose period of origin can be readily surmised due to a short period at the height of fashion. The inclusion of very few bonnets, common headwear for a long time, also skews the sample significantly. Additionally, while I am not an expert on millinery, some of the hats categorized in the chapter on the Victorian period appear to be 20th century hats to me. “Circa” dates estimating origins are not included, though most items are listed with a price range which is apparently an estimated value. The text does not include citations or references. In spite of some very lovely photographs, I do not consider this book very useful, due to lack of details and references. Primarily, it seems to be designed to function as a designer showcase and inspiration for collectors and designers. While there are some good pictures of pretty extant hats, I would not go so far as to say that I recommend this book. It is not instructional. The images are mostly full-color photographs. There is a bibliography.

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