Gentleman’s Stove Pipe Beaver Hat & Wallpaper Covered Hat Box


This top hat belonged to George W. Balloch,of Cornish , NH, Father of a Civil War general.

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George Willaimson Balloch was born in December of 1798, and except for a few years he lived in West Claremont, NH, working as a butcher, he removed to Cornish, and became a farmer.  He was an officer in the local militia, and commanded a company of light infantry.  Taken from the History of the Town of Cornish, NH, “Physically he was a Hercules, being six feet three inches in height and weighing when in his prime 350 pounds.”  His son, George W. Ballach (1825-1907), was a brevet brigadier general.  Father George died 1870.

The hat is remarkable condition, showing very little use.  it was made in Paris, France, by RENAUD.  Many fine clothiers carried these finely made European goods. The size of the hat suggests that Balloch wore a size 7 3/4-7 7/8 (no label).  A note found in the hat box reads, “{Dr. Bagiloras Express}   Mr. Geo. W. Balloch / Cornish, N.H. / Leave at Hatch & Suxburg Windsor, Vt. {  Will H & Suxbury please forward if convenient.”

The hat box, typical in construction to most of the period, and covered in decorative wallpaper, common to this part of New Hampshire. The oval box stands 11 inches high, 15.5 inches long, and 13.5 wide.  For the most part, in very good condition, with some stitching broken on the top edge about 9 inches.  It can be repaired easily.  The note mentioned above was glued down on the lid, and came off, but fortunately kept with the box and hat. Paper in places shows wear, with tears, stains.  Sounds far more  harsh than it appears.

The best conditioned beaver “stove pipe” hats we have ever had.

Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 20 × 15 × 15 in