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To Top It All Off

Cindy Scarr

You may know lots about shtreimels, fedoras, and baseball hats, but probably little about the hats on these pages. They’d make great hats for Purim!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

indian with hat1) Bearskin

A bearskin is a tall fur hat, usually part of a ceremonial military uniform.

Following their role in the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815, which put an end to Napoleon’s rule as French Emperor) the UK’s 1st Foot Guards were renamed the Grenadier Guards and the whole regiment adopted the bearskin.

The British Foot Guards are among the regiments that guard London’s Buckingham Palace, home of Queen Elizabeth II, and site of the famous Changing of the Guards.

Each of the famous bearskin hats is 18 inches tall, weighs 1.5 pounds, and is made from the entire skin of a Canadian black bear. Between 50 and 100 black bear skins are bought each year, at about $1,000 each, for new or replacement hats. Bearskin hats last for decades; some caps still in use are more than 100 years old.


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