February 20, 2012 by staff
Bicorne Hat, The bicorne or bicorn (two-cornered) is an archaic form of hat widely adopted in the 1790s as an item of uniform by European and American military and naval officers. It is now most readily associated with Napoléon Bonaparte but in practice most generals and staff officers of the Napoleonic period wore bicornes, and it survived as a widely worn full-dress headdress until at least 1914.
Descended from the tricorne, the black-coloured bicorne originally had a rather broad brim, with the front and the rear halves turned up and pinned together (in English the shorter front brim was called ‘the c*ck’ – hence ‘c*cked hat’ – and the longer rear brim was termed ‘the fan’), forming a semi-circular fan shape; there was usually a c*ckade in the national colours at the front.
Later, the hat became more triangular in shape, its two ends became more pointed, and it was worn with the c*ckade at the right side. This kind of bicorne eventually became known in the English language as the c*cked hat, although to this day it is still known in the French language as the bicorne.
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