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The bowler (or derby) hat was created in 1850. Books have been written (literally) about the symbolic significance of this apparel item and its relationship to the Modern Age. Magritte is not alone in using the bowler/derby as an icon in art, theater, or literature. Samuel Beckett, Milan Kundera, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, Grosz, Lawrence, and others also found that this hat had iconic resonance and included it in their work. For more on this read THE MAN IN THE BOWLER HAT: His History and Iconography by Fred Miller Robinson.
Bowler hats for men, similar to the one pictured here can be seen at The Village Hat Shop.
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