14543 These two bonnets, known as calashes, are in a remarkable state of preservation. They were found in the estate of a descendant of the Mayhew family on Martha's Vineyard who taught for a couple of years in the 1930's at Nantucket's Coffin School.
Earlier calashes, designed to accommodate the large ladies hairdos that were in fashion at the end of the 18th century, were hood-like with structural boning and could collapse as an accordion for storage or for travel. By the 1840ís they were smaller and were known as fixed calash bonnets.
Rarely if ever are bonnets such as these found outside of museums, particularly in such amazing condition with minimal signs of wear.