hat measure & conform

P. Maillard

hat measure & conform

P. Maillard


Conform in 3 sections. 1) Elliptical black wooden base on 4 feet. Small screw with pearl surround at 1 end. Raised oval section (approx 3cm x 6cm) in centre with metal spike projecting upwards at each end, blunt metal point at each end of base halfway between outside edge and raised part. 2) 2 elliptical brass rings fixed 1 on top of the other, lower ring with hole at each end to fit over points of base, upper ring with 8 small screws all round. 46 T-shaped wooden pegs arranged all round outer edge of rings, cross bar of T at right angles to rings, descenders of T passing between rings and tapering so as to converge on an oval gap in centre which fits over raised part of base, 1 secured in position by 8 screwdown brass knobs, but adjustable when knobs are unscrewed. 3) Hat shape, sides of crown and brim made up of 56 moveable L-shaped ebony slats, brim slats passing through square perforations in thick wooden rim, tips covered with mother of pearl and grooved to accommodate sprung wire coil which passes all round outside perimeter, rim standing on 4 feet. 16 pairs of small screws with pearl surround spaed all round. Rim connected to crown top by 4 wooden flying buttresses on metal base. Crown top made up of brass ring perforated all round, crown slats are extended by brass rods (square in cross section) with spike on end, which passes through perforations and converge on oval metal plate with spike at each end. Metal catch at front end of crown top. Hinged crown lid lined with cork, metal ring all round underside, brass catch at front end, pearl medallion in centre. Inside of crown lined with leather, metal spring crossing crown top. This is a device used to measure men's heads for top-hats. The 'hat' part is placed on the customer's head, where the inside spring ensures that it remains at the right height. According to the size of the head, the slats are forced outwards, thus altering the shape and size of the central portion as outlined by the slat spikes. A piece of paper is then placed over the central portion, being positioned by the 2 spikes on the metal plates. The lid is lowered and fastened down, and the spikes perforate the paper and embed themselves in the cork lining of the lid. the lid is then raised and the paper is left with the imprint of the slat spikes. It is cut out around this outline. The piece of paper is now transferred to the central portion of the base, where it is again positioned by the 2 spikes. The screws on the brass rings are loosened and the wooden pegs are adjusted until they exactly touch the perimeter of the paper all round. the screws are tightened again and the outside edge of the brass rings, bounded by the wooden pegs, is the exact size and shape according to which the lower edge of the top hat must be made.

Object Name

hat measure & conform

Creators Name

P. Maillard

Date Created



Height of crown: 10cm
Perimeter of base: 68.5cm
Perimeter of brass rings: 50cm
Perimeter of brim: 106cm
Perimeter of crown: 56cm

accession number




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