Market Lavington Museum

A Baby’s Bonnet.


If you have little expertise in the garments worn by our youngsters in times past, you might struggle to work out what this item actually is. It might, for example, look like a place mat or one of those muslin ‘lids’ which were put over milk jugs to keep the flies out. But as the title of this piece suggests, this is, in fact, a baby’s bonnet.

A baby's bonnet from around the time of the First World War at Market Lavington Museum

It dates from around the time of the First World War – say 1910 to 1920 and is made of white cotton with embroidery in an elaborate knotted pattern. The bonnet has no ties – neither is it in perfect condition. The idea was that the lined central part of this bonnet was worn on the back of the head so that the patterned material could frame baby’s face.

We do not know the origins of this piece, which came from Peggy Gye’s collection of items when the museum was first set up, 25 years ago.