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After the death of Prince Albert in 1861, Queen Victoria slipped into a deep depression, and was inconsolable with grief for the loss of her beloved husband. For the rest of her life, it is said, that she would set a place at the dining table, and even lay out a fresh set of clothes each day for him, as if he were still with her. The wearing of black mourning jewelry was made popular because of her devotion to him.

I have thoroughly researched, and faithfully executed this piece, using authentic Victorian passementeries, and jet beadwork. The frame is hand formed buckrham and wire, then covered with silk velvet, and aforementioned, antique soutache appliques, and authentic period jet beadwork and buttons. The ribbons are also of vintage silk. The back of the hat has a snood of vintage lace, a cascade of silk and grosgrain ribbons, and a jet bead tassel. Black maribou feathers accent the temples and crown of this period piece.
I have paired this hat with a Victorian reproduction mourning gown, courtesy of Etsy designer/seller, Christine Hall Designs, whose work is, in my opinion, perfectly researched, and so beautifully crafted!! Here's her link to see the gown I chose.
This hat made it to the front page of ETSY's blog page, The Storque!! To see the full article, here's the link that you may need to copy and paste to your browser:


A little about my background:
I am currently an Artist in Residence at the Slater Mill Historic Site in Pawtucket,RI, on the beautiful Blackstone River. This was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in textile manufacturing in the late 1700's. I am teaching millinery workshops as part of their TradArtsStudio program. Please call the Slater Mill museum, at 1-401-725-8638 x106, and ask for Eleanor Langham if you are interested in these classes. Fall classes are now beginning to form a waiting list, so reserve soon, as space is limited to 8 students per session.
My 40 plus years of sewing professionally, has also brought my work to the stage, where for 20 years, I have intermittently worked in every capacity for many theaters, including the Tony award winning Trinity Repertory Company, right here in Providence, RI. I have survived summerstock twice, while designing for the Shakespearean Theater of Maine at Monmouth, under the direction of Bob Colonna (son of the late 1940's mustached comedian Jerry Colonna--side kick to Bob Hope), and for the Walnut St. Theater in Philadelphia, as a patternmaker/draper, for Sondheims' A Little Night Music.
My work has been recognised by the RI State Council on the Arts and Humanities (2002), with a substantial grant to mount an exhibition of my work entitled,
100 Years of Fashion: 1850-1950, at the historic Slater Mill Museum, in Pawtucket, RI., situated on the Blackstone River. Slater Mill was one of the first textile mills in operation at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
I am so proud to be a member of the MOE Team, and am so grateful to ETSY for providing this incredible venue for artists!! I truly have found my home!! Many thanks to Christine Hall Designs, for her participation, and Victorian gown inspiration.
And lest I forget, a big shout out of kudos goes to Joanne, of LeChapeau, for her hard work in helping to co-ordinate this event, the link to her beautiful ETSY shop is
Orsini~MediciCouture Millinery

Victorian Mourning Hat ca. 1861/ Reproduction

$1,600.00 USD
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  • Handmade item
  • Color: Black
  • Style: Victorian
  • Materials: silk, jet glass, rayon, wire, cotton
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 146 reviews
  • Favorited by: 193 people