Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Theodore Roosevelt: Personally-Owned Top Hat. High quality "beaver silk" covered hat owned by President Theodore Roosevelt. TR was known as an elegant dresser and there are photographs of him wearing identical hats. This particular one is still housed in its original deluxe, silk-lined, leather carrying case which measures 14.5" x 11" x 9.75". The area below the lock plate is gold-stamped "T. R." in bold Old English characters. The case has light wear and a moisture line encircling the bottom, but is remarkably well-preserved. The silk liner of the hat has the trademark of "Dunlap & Company" of New York. The sweatband has the gold-stamped logo of John B. Stetson Company of Philadelphia. Additionally, and most importantly, it is gold-stamped "Theo. Roosevelt" in Old English characters. There is no size indicated. There are also some stamped and hand-written inscriptions on the liner and interior sweatband, all hidden from view, likely internal company inventory and quality control notations. The leather sweatband is partially detached at one end and there is some light "case" wear to the outer edges of the grosgrain-accented brim. There are some minor creases to the hat band. The case also includes two lateral "hidden compartments" that house hinged boxes for accessories. It is obviously a top-of-the-line custom order from the "Cadillac" of hat makers at the turn of the 20th century, in keeping with the status of its owner, a life-long New Yorker.

    It is accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from High Noon Western Americana, dated September 26, 2019. That firm has handled many historical and celebrity-owned vintage hats and is often called upon to vet material. "The Dunlap hat company was the premier chapeaux vendor of the Roosevelt era and this hat was absolutely 'top of the line' in class, cost and design for that particular manufacturer. Theodore Roosevelt was known to be a customer of Dunlap & Co. and a Top Hat like this would be very appropriate for a man of Theodore Roosevelt's stature... Theodore Roosevelt was photographed wearing top hats many times. This Top Hat appears identical to other top hats Theodore Roosevelt wears in multiple verifiable photographs." The letter also concludes that the personalized gold-stamped inscriptions were "factory applied". The "choice of the initials 'T.R.' suggests a level of familiarity that one would expect on a period item owned by, ordered and personalized by Theodore Roosevelt himself or someone very close to him."

    Provenance: The Ray Bentley Collection.

    Heritage has previously sold examples of Presidential hats, including William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and others. All have been well-received, but this may "top" them all!




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,062

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Feb 22, 2020 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item
    Coming soon:

    Luxury Real Estate
    Opens about 07/23/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/27/2021

    Luxury Real Estate
    Opens about 08/06/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 09/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 09/23/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/28/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 09/29/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Western & Texas Art
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 09/24/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 09/30/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/08/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/01/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/13/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/07/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/04/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/15/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Manuscripts
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Musical Instruments
    Opens about 10/12/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/19/2021

    Photography
    Opens about 10/20/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/22/2021

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/21/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/14/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/11/2021

    Space
    Opens about 10/25/2021

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/17/2021

    Currency
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Silver
    Opens about 10/26/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/26/2021

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/27/2021

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/27/2021

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/29/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/18/2021

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 February 11 Manuscripts Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search