Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hats Off to Sherlock Holmes

Our dear Austrian daughter, Kerstin Strohmeyer, sent us this beautiful photo of her trying on a hat in London. She was recalling the wonderful time we all had together in the British capital last year -- notably including visits to Baker Street and to the Sherlock Holmes Pub. That's where I researched The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore

And who does that chapeau remind you of?

Isn't it fascinating that the headgear known as a deerstalker has come to universally represent not only the world's first consulting detective but the very idea of a detective? In the library at our grandchildren's elementary school, for example, mysteries carry a little label with a deerstalker image. Amelia thought that meant they were all about Sherlock Holmes!

As Sherlockian know, Holmes really did wear a deerstalker on occasion, although Dr. Watson never used the word. The good doctor called it "his ear-flapped travelling cap" in "Silver Blaze" and a "close-fitting cloth cap" in "The Adventure of the Boscombe Valley Mystery." Only one kind of hat fits both descriptions -- the deerstalker that Sidney Paget showed in his original illustrations of both stories.

It's also true that a deerstalker cap is country attire, and Paget depicted Holmes far more often in a top hat as he strolled down London streets. But William Gillette and most of his successors in playing Holmes on stage and screened donned the deerstalker. Perhaps that's just as well, otherwise I might have to have two top hats in my library instead of two deerstalkers.

How many deerstalkers do you own?


  1. None :-( Need to buy it next time when I'll be to London. I don't want a "made-in-China" deerstalker. I want a real British one! But I've got a nice replica of BBC Sherlock's coat that was... tailor-made in Shanghai. X-D