Bonnets such as this, which had been adapted from stylish headwear of the early nineteenth century, were by mid-century identifiably Quaker. Subtle variations in color and form manifested doctrinal differences: the rigid pleating on this plain bonnet rather than soft gathers indicates the wearer's orthodoxy. Always worn over a fine lawn cap, the bonnet was often protected by an oilskin cover in wet weather while a quilted silk cover could add warmth in winter.
Artist/maker unknown, American, Quaker. Worn by Mrs. Benjamin Maule (Margaret Evans), American (Quaker), 1806 - 1856.