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Headdresses

Some especially fragile objects held at the Musée Unterlinden are not able to be permanently on view to the public. This is the case for the group of Alsatian headdresses in the museum’s collections, made from a variety of textile materials that cannot be exposed to light for extended periods. Nevertheless, visitors were able to explore this aspect of the collections in late 2009, on the occasion of the exhibition A Few Sequins, A Little Silk…, which focused on Alsatian headdresses of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Far from the traditional conception of Alsatian women wearing black bonnets tied under the chin with large bows, popularised by Hansi, the exhibition paid tribute to the quality, variety of colours and elegance of these headdresses. The museum possesses a representative collection of different types of headdresses, which vary widely depending on where they originate in the region. More than merely an article of clothing, Alsatian headdresses served both as ornament and as a symbol of social status.

Headdresses
 

Bonnet à bec embroidered in polychrome silk thread and ribbon, from Oberhergheim, late 18th–early 19th century. Silk, cotton(?), metal. Hand sewn, with embroidery and bobbin lace, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar.

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