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Grannys Bonnet

June 4, 2020

The size of the Poke Bonnet increased until, in 1830, a woman’s face could not be seen except from directly at the front 〜 Encyclopaedia Britannica

From the bedroom to the ballroom, well-to-do Georgian ladies desired a hat for every occasion and the extravagance (and size) of one’s headwear was as much a status symbol as it was a fashion statement.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) sarcastically sums up the importance of hats in a letter to her sister in 1798; ‘Next week [I] shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend.’

And perhaps the most indispensable hat of all in the 18th century was the bonnet, the shape of which inspired the name of this attractive flower variety, Common Columbine ‘Granny’s Bonnet’ (aquilegia vulgaris).

Socially elevated ladies would wear different bonnets inside and outside of the home and even wore them to bed. Fine silk and linen bonnets called Mob Caps would hide the indecency of unkept hair and protected bedsheets from the ravishes of Georgian hair products.

Less affluent women would have one bonnet for Winter and another straw bonnet for the Summer months with the tradition of Easter bonnets originating from the unboxing of a new hat in Springtime.

One account of a ship wrecked off the South Wales coast in 1750 states that there was no sign of survivors or its precious cargo of straw hats, though investigators did note the suspicious sight of hundreds of people in countryside around Tenby sporting glamorous new Summer bonnets.

And rather like a straw hat, Granny’s Bonnet appears at the start of Summer and its delicate beauty is vulnerable to strong gust of wind, so search this flower out and admire it while you can.

Broken Clock Vodka comes from 18th century gardens and books and in the same way the Georgians were fastidious about what they wore atop their heads our bottle takes pride in being crowned with its bespoke wood and pot metal engraved stopper.

And just as when a gentleman peers under the Poke Bonnet of a Regency lady for the first time, God willing you will find something which is to your liking beneath our bottle’s cap too.