Sunday, November 22, 2009

Scientific Facts on the Beret?

Through an auction I got hold of a number of very old "new" berets; once the stock of a New York hatter, stored for decades on an attic and finally sold to this collector by the hatter's grandchild after a cleaning spree of the old house...
Some of these I sell on to other collectors or donate to museums, but this one here, I am very happy to keep in my collection.

It's a French made Basque beret, only 21.5 cm diameter (8.5") in it's original box. The box proudly displays the US flag and advertises the beret as "American Basque Beret" with a registered US patent. But, more interesting is the back cover, stating all sort of facts about the berets that really make me wonder. I quote the most interesting (or fantastic...) ones:
  • When the ancient Roman male wished to become engaged to a girl, he merely snatched off her beret. This symbolized that she was accepted.
  • The aboriginal inhabitants of England during battle wore only close-fitting berets and no other apparel whatsoever.
  • The Lhardi tribes of Northern Tibet always wear berets made from the hair of departed relatives as a sign of respect.
  • Korean gentlemen always wear two berets, one above the other. They take off only the outer one when indoors.
And how do you like this one: Superstitious maidens of Afghanistan sleep with their native beret on so they will not be annoyed by evil spirits that prevent them finding a husband.


  1. I came back from France back in 1981 with the best beret I ever owned. Medium thick wool and nice soft leather sweatband--it was a marvel. But, what was best about it was that it was TINY. When I pulled it down to just above my ears it was stretched fully--no over hang at all. It seems to me that these tiny "beenie" berets are almost impossible to find these days. But would sure would love to find another that small!

  2. You are right, they are not as easy to find (I don't sell the very small diameter ones...), but you can find them. Have a look at the online shop of the Beret Museum site: If you can't find what you are looking for, let me know and I can see if I can help you further.

  3. Wygląda to super. Pozdrawiam.