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The Adventure Of The Coincidental Hat

ChasFink

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
2,536
I just saw a TV commercial featuring a little girl in a deerstalker hat, and it reminded me of an odd coincidence - or was it?

Back in my college days I had a lovely wool deerstalker myself. It was a brown houndstooth weave, looked very much like one depicted on a Sherlock Holmes anthology I owned, and in my opinion was superior to others I had seen. I bought it at a gift shop near my home at the time.

A couple of years later, I was between flights at the Shannon, Ireland, airport. Browsing through the duty free shops, I came across a large selection of hats made by the company that made my deerstalker: Millar's of Clifden, Connemara. I decided to buy one as an alternate to the deerstalker which, due to its connection to the fictional detective, was sometimes laughed at. I settled on a nice green tweed.

One day a fellow student made reference to my Sherlock Holmes hat - but she meant the green one, not the deerstalker! I soon realized she was making a reference to the hat worn by Basil Rathbone in the "modern day" Holmes films set in the 1940s. I admitted my hat was similar, although that wasn't a factor when I bought it.

I threw away the deerstalker when it became quite worn, but in recent years tried to find a replacement. Unfortunately Millar's doesn't seem to make them anymore, and they also don't appear to sell many outside their own shop. When searching for it, however, I came across evidence of an online auction for one of Rathbone's later Holmes hats.
Auction Hat.png

It is indeed the same style as the one I had, down to the pattern of the cloth. It looks greenish here to my eye, but I believe this one is brown. The manufacturer? Millar's of Clifden, Connemara.

Auction Hat Label.png

I'm not sure if I still have mine somewhere, but if I can dig it out I will begin wearing it again.
 
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I just saw a TV commercial featuring a little girl in a deerstalker hat, and it reminded me of an odd coincidence - or was it?

Back in my college days I had a lovely wool deerstalker myself. It was a brown houndstooth weave, looked very much like one depicted on a Sherlock Holmes anthology I owned, and in my opinion was superior to others I had seen. I bought it at a gift shop near my home at the time.

A couple of years later, I was between flights at the Shannon, Ireland, airport. Browsing through the duty free shops, I came across a large selection of hats made by the company that made my deerstalker: Millar's of Clifden, Connemara. I decided to buy one as an alternate to the deerstalker which, due to its connection to the fictional detective, was sometimes laughed at. I settled on a nice green tweed.

One day a fellow student made reference to my Sherlock Holmes hat - but she meant the green one, not the deerstalker! I soon realized she was making a reference to the hat worn by Basil Rathbone in the "modern day" Holmes films set in the 1940s. I admitted my hat was similar, although that wasn't a factor when I bought it.

I threw away the deerstalker when it became quite worn, but in recent years tried to find a replacement. Unfortunately Millar's doesn't seem to make them anymore, and they also don't appear to sell many outside their own shop. When searching for it, however, I came across evidence of an online auction for one of Rathbone's later Holmes hats.
View attachment 70186
It is indeed the same style as the one I had, down to the pattern of the cloth. It looks greenish here to my eye, but I believe this one is brown. The manufacturer? Millar's of Clifden, Connemara.

View attachment 70187
I'm not sure if I still have mine somewhere, but Iif I can dog it out I will begin wearing it again.
Did Rathbone write his name in blood?
 
Did Rathbone write his name in blood?
According to the auction site, it "has the original "B. Rathbone" written across the lining of the hat in Indian Ink as was the custom." India ink does sometimes get reddish with age.

https://www.icollector.com/item.aspx?i=18037220


And here is a page discussing Rathbone's 1940s hats and this one in particular:

https://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2014/01/the-basil-rathbone-hat-mystery.html

BTW, the more I look at that color photo, the more it looks like the green (with some brown) that my hat had.
 
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