Thursday, 23 April 2009

For that Windy Old Weather.....

Dictionary: ca·las
h (kə-lăsh') pronunciation also ca·lèche (-lĕsh')n.
1. A light carriage with two or four low wheels and a collapsible top.
2. A top for this or a similar carriage.

3. A woman's folding bonnet of the late 18th century.
[French calèche, from German Kalesche, from Czech kolesa, from pl. of kolo, koles-, wheel, from Old Church Slavonic.]

As you can tell from the pictures it's not a light carriage with four wheels and a collapsible top but it WAS named after this.
The bow at the top front unties and forms 2 strings which the lady would hold onto to pull the hat forward and keep it in place in windy weather. This one has been reproduced from a late 18th C original found in America and is entirely hand made. The outer is made from silk taffeta and is drawn over canes to form the ridges. The inside is lined with white twill silk. I'd also have a slight quibble with the dates as the Calash went out of use about 1830, making it an 18th AND 19th Century bonnet. This makes it a problem where to put it in the web albums. The solution we normally take is to place it in the album where it makes its first appearance, so you'll find this in 'Various(1700-1820)'. There are now 25 Albums and it's becoming a bit of a drag to keep splitting them up to make them faster at downloading. Nevertheless, it is giving us a good reference file (!) and if we weren't so successful, I suppose it wouldn't be a problem....
Come to think of it - I'd rather have the problem!