Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


Black felt bowler hat for horse riding


Black felt bowler hat for horse riding

Black felt bowler hat for horse riding

Object information

Physical description

A black felt bowler hat for horse riding. The hard helmet features a black felt exterior with black tape material decorating the circumference of the brim which is turned up at the sides. The tape material also decorates the base circumference of the crown, meeting in a tie at the left hand side of the hat. At the rear of the brim is a lanyard attachment which consists of a small black metal stud raised above the brim of the hat and a small metal ring on the black felt underside of the brim. The interior of the hat is lined with a red satin like material and bears gold coloured text that reads "BEST QUALITY / STYLE & FINISH / MADE IN ENGLAND". Around the inside perimeter of the hat is a separate skirt of bronze coloured satin like fabric which has been padded out with a wool fleece type material attached with adhesive tape, this padding ensures the snug fit of the hat around the riders head. A small bronze coloured bow decorates this skirt of fabric at the rear of the hat. Beneath this skirt of material at the front of the hat is a small rectangular shaped adhesive paper label. The label features crest and scroll designs and the black text "BE JUST AND FEAR NOT / THIS HAT UNION MADE / FELT HATTERS AND TRIMMERS UNIONS / DEFENCE NOT DEFIANCE / A.J.FH FHT & WF / COPYRIGHT".

Statement of significance

The collection consists of documents, photographs, scrapbooks, clothing and other memorabilia from the careers and personal lives of Emma (Emilie) Roach, a well-known and successful equestrian, and her husband John (Jack) Burton, who made several record-breaking drives in motor vehicles across Australia during the 1910s and 1920s.

Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, in 1898, Roach began equestrian competition at the age of 10, and continued through most levels and types of competition, remaining an unpaid amatuer, until her retirement in 1955. Her main competitions and successes were in the show-ring. After Burton and Roach married in 1925, they lived in Sydney for many years and travelled from there to agricultural shows in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland where Roach would compete and Burton worked in motor vehicle sales and writing articles for motoring magazines.

Object information

Back to top