Bes Ben | CI-Hat27

1970s Bes Ben Beaded Hat, Pink & Burgundy

Magnificent beaded hat by the famous Chicago milliner Bes Ben
Approx. Size: Fits Most; Diameter: 9" (23 cm); Crown Height: 3" (7.5 cm)
Condition: Very good....

  • Magnificent beaded hat by the famous Chicago milliner Bes Ben
    Approx. Size: Fits Most; Diameter: 9" (23 cm); Crown Height: 3" (7.5 cm)
    Condition: Very good. Netting is intact.
    Mark/Label: Bes Ben Chicago
    One of Kind - Buy Now.

    • Collectible hat from Bes Ben.
    • Criss-crossed open weave beadwork in burgundy and pink on stiff base.
    • Netting is in dark burgundy and has scattered dots.
    • This hat sits on top of the head and is heavy. This is a real collector piece. 

    Benjamin Greenfield and his sister Bessie opened their millinery shop Bes-Ben in Chicago in 1919. When she left the business he consolidated to one shop on Michigan Avenue. He was famous for his whimsical hats including a 1941 Dalmatian hat. He became known as Chicago۪s Mad Hatter" in the 1940s and 1950s. Every summer Bes-Ben held its famous midnight sale, in which the store cleared its last season's inventory at prices as low as $5, and tossed the unsold inventory to be grabbed up by hat lovers. The madhouse these sales created was notorious, with press photographs showing throngs of eager shoppers pressed against each other to grab the hats. Injuries ensued. Customers included Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, and Marlene Dietrich. A bird hat by Bes-Ben, circa the 1940s, is in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Chicago History Museum held two special Bes Ben exhibits and features several hats in a rotating exhibit at all times in the museum. His philanthropy was great, and a foundation in his name carries on his legacy.*




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