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A COLLECTION OF GENTLEMAN'S SMOKING CAPS
The following eleven lots are colourful and interesting examples of a functional and extremely decorative part of late 19th century gentlemen's costume. Smoking caps served several purposes during the late 19th century but their primary aim was to keep the smoke off a gentleman's hair. Since hair was not washed with great frequency it was important - and polite practice - to protect it as far as possible from unpleasant smells. At a time when houses were not necessarily warm smoking hats had the added benefit of maintaining body heat. The height of their fashion also coincided with a taste for all things exotic which led to a profusion of colourful styles, many wtih strong Eastern influences which is perfectly illustrated in this collection.