Gentleman’s velvet smoking cap

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1870-1900.

Although soberly dressed in dark colours when outside the home, middle class men in the 1800s and early 1900s often favoured brightly coloured smoking jackets and caps when relaxing at home in the evening. This smoking cap is typical, with its luxurious materials and design of leaves and four-leaf clovers worked in gold braid.

The cap might well have been home made. At the time, middle class girls were rarely allowed to work outside the home. Making gifts such as slippers, caps, braces and dre...


Smoking cap, men's, velvet / silk, maker unknown, probably made in Australia, 1870-1900

A close-fitting royal blue/purple velvet cap padded and lined with faded gold silk. The cap is embellished with designs of leaves and four-leaf clovers outlined in gold braid. A gold silk tassel hangs from the centre top. The lining is quilted in diamond patterned machine stitching. The cap is machine sewn.


140 mm


In the 1800s there was a tradition of making smoking caps at home as presents for men in the household. This cap could have been made in this tradition, or it could have been commercially produced.


Gift of Mrs K Helsby, 2008
14 April, 2008

Cite this Object

Gentleman's velvet smoking cap 2014, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Gentleman's velvet smoking cap |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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