Hat making in all its guises has been a tradition in Bankside since Tudor times. Thomas Bowler of Southwark Bridge Road was one such hat maker. In 1850, William Coke of Holkham Hall, Norfolk, asked his London hatter James Lock to create a new shape of hat. His top hat was not suitable for riding and was frequently damaged by rain and low-lying branches. Lock responded to Coke’s request and commissioned the task to Thomas Bowler. He created the shape of the famous bowler hat from a process he perfected that hardened and molded felt. The image is an homage to Reneé Magritte over the London map and with the north Norfolk sand dunes in the far distance.
20”x16” (406 mm x 508 mm)