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Cap (Spain)

This is a Cap. It is dated late 18th century and we acquired it in 1951. Its medium is silk and its technique is knitted cap, knotted tassel. It is a part of the Textiles department.

That knitted caps enjoyed great popularity in eighteenth-century Spain can be seen in the many examples in museum collections in the United States and Europe. Knitted in dark red silk, this cap is primarily patterned with thin diagonal ribs while the very top has a geometric arrangement of lozenges and triangles. The dramatic tassel, at nearly twenty-three inches in length, is formed from two twisted skeins of yarn that have rings of knotted silk and tufted chenille attached. Paintings and prints from the period suggest that men and women wore these knitted caps on celebratory occasions, and that they were an important accessory of native dress in Spain. No artist expressed this innate "Spanishness" better than Francisco Goya (1746–1828), who painted lively scenes of Spaniards wearing knitted caps and other forms of traditional Spanish dress.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled A Spanish Knitted Cap.

This object was donated by Richard Cranch Greenleaf (American, 1887–1961). It is credited Gift of Richard C. Greenleaf.

  • Tassel (Italy)
  • linen.
  • Bequest of Richard Cranch Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline Emma....
  • 1962-51-14
  • Nightcap
  • silk, metallic yarn (silver foil wrapped around silk core), flat foil strip.
  • Gift of Richard C. Greenleaf in memory of his mother, Adeline E. Greenleaf.
  • 1952-47-1

Our curators have highlighted 9 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Nightcap (France)
  • silk, metallic (silver metal foil wound onto white silk core).
  • Gift of Richard C. Greenleaf.
  • 1951-105-31
  • Nightcap (England)
  • silk embroidery on linen foundation, linen needle lace.
  • Bequest of Marian Hague.
  • 1971-50-115
  • Nightcap (France)
  • silk, metallic (metal-wrapped silk-core yarn).
  • Gift of Richard C. Greenleaf.
  • 1951-105-30

Its dimensions are

H x W: 25.1 x 25.1 cm (9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.) Tassel: 58.1 cm (22 7/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Cap (Spain); silk; H x W: 25.1 x 25.1 cm (9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.) Tassel: 58.1 cm (22 7/8 in.); Gift of Richard C. Greenleaf; 1951-105-35

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Making Design and Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Cap (Spain) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 May 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>