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There appears to be two "British Legions", the oldest was formed in 1921 and the second, Royal British Legion was formed in 1971. Both are clubs or societies of men/women service people from prior wars.
Thomas Townend & Co.history is unknown. I found record they were operating in the late 1890s up to (last entry found) 1950 but by 1986 no record was found.
Label says, "His Majesty" which dates it to pre-Elizabeth II, 1952).
Townend & Co. sold their hats in hat boxes and if kept therein would be in pristine condition.
Thanks for the detective work. You came up with (basically) the same info that I have. Still can't say (with 100% certainty) whether this is an original or a knock-off.
Sadly no hat box was seen when I picked this up.
You said it could be purchased thru A & F in the 1970s...I said the Royal Society was formed in 1971. Seems logical that A&F sold pith helmets to members of the society...Workmanship of hat looks nicely done, not something found on a knock off. My opinion.
I'm not saying this to impress anyone here and instead only to provide my opinion (if it's worth anything). I began collecting all sorts of items from local thrift stores likely in the 1970's and I moved around from one apartment to another until I bought my first preowned home in Haymarket VA in 1989. I often spent a few minutes to track down information on one of my collectibles and sometimes I spent weeks finding out who had made my "find" and when and where it was manufactured. If you walked thru my home today and had any interest in collectibles you'd likely think that I'd been running either a museum or an antiques mall in my home for the past 30 or more years. I hardly have room to walk around here due to all of the stands which I have in my living and dining rooms. I stopped eating at my dining room table years ago and it's now covered with displayed paperweights and many other collectibles.
Based solely on the deep dark consistent coloration of the green cloth material on the under surface and the red company label shown in the photo I'd suspect that this is a relative modern production and not something with great age. I'd studied chemistry in college and now remember little of what I formerly had to memorize but having collected a variety of antiques know for sure that most dyes would have tended to first of all lose their consistent coloration. As an example regarding the green colored material it would first begin to show white spots where the green color had begun to evaporate and fade before any other signs of age would develop -- such as the cloth material beginning to bunch up due to internal wear of the material. In addition the leather surfaces would also show some evaporative but not as much wear as would be evident on the dyed cloth material.
The guiding principle would be "nothing lasts forever" such as would be found in a true diamond. This is said not to devalue this hat; it's a very nice collectible and my opinion would be to bless it with the characterization as being modern rather than antique.
Mark, your house and mine sound like twins. I lost my dining room table because it's piled high with stuff bought at yard sales and thrift stores. I have a B&H movie projector, an NCR cash register, a cast iron brown paper dispenser, a fireman's hat,a Pebble Beach golf hat, old neckties, A stack or two of depr, glass, MCM, baskets, packing material, peanuts, bubble wrap and underneath it ,my table. My paperweights are on a mirror-shelf on the wall along with my vast collection of fine art, prints and junk art. The good stuff is in my china cab, and on window ledges, coffee table, floor in cardboard boxes. I have a coffee can full (497) of Rockefeller for President buttons. 2 cans of tootsietoy cars, etc, a can of wade england animals. Cast iron banks and toys, 3 robots (1 walks and smokes) and more stuff. A recent find was a 1943 ca USS Midway cast-iron ashtray, made and given to VIPs by Newport News Shipbuilding.
I once read where it says we don't own these antiques, we are only their caretakers.
I bought a Love's (C store/gas station) plastic fuel truck celebrating 50 years for .10 cents. Ebay has them for $18.00.
Not to compete with your plastic truck, only to make you cry with envy: I used to visit a small and very nice thrift store which was directly on my route home from the Benz dealer where I worked; it was always filled with new finds and there were two unusually kind women working there. One evening the younger one from Vietnam walked over to me holding this exquisite Sterling silver Mexican necklace and told me: "Look at this, it's only $5.00." I immediately noted that it was Sterling Silver and when I used my magnifier saw the Mexican Eagle icon, the word "Taxco" along with "Hecho en Mexico" and the 2 digit number "22" indicating the maker." I instantly purchased it for $5.00 and believe that I saved the price tag. I weighed it and don't now remember it's weight but it has 21 hanging triangular (prisms) pendants and is in mint condition with no damage or wear. I went back into that store the next evening and asked this young clerk to step outside for a moment. I handed her a $20 bill and she was afraid to take it and asked me"What's that for?" I told her it was for having showed me that necklace. She then accepted it and if I had been a millionaire would have given her $100.00. I've never considered selling this necklace simply due to its' classic yet radical design and it's difficult to correctly narrow down which company or individual designed this. Having collected many items such as this over 35 or more years I'd suspect that if I ever needed money and put this on eBay as a Buy it Now it might easily sell for at least $1,200 or more. If I found a very rich woman with a sophisticated eye to whom money is only a plaything I likely could ask for and receive $2,500 as this is likely a "one of a kind work of art." I've seen a lot of Mexican Silver jewelry and as far as necklaces without gemstones this has to be one of the most spectacular. I believe that when folded as shown it measures about 6" high from the snap closure to the base. The clerk who worked there obviously realized that this was a nice item and was holding it for someone she liked; I'd never have seen this if she hadn't brought it to me so I owed her a big "thank you." I wanted to thank her but also wanted to provide her some indication of my appreciation and the $20 was the least I could give her for her kind act.