Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby - Marquetry

The fourth hat in this year's series "Hats Off to the Horses: The Road to the Derby" - Exclusive Couture Hat to be offered in a one of a kind online auction beginning February 1st, 2011 -
Multiple stakes winner Marquetry, sired by the 1982 Horses of the Year, Conquistador Cielo, originally raced in England.

Under the careful training of racing legend, Bobby Frankel, Marquetry's racing career took off here in the States, and he may best be remembered for his three Grade 1 wins which he won in consecutive years: the 1991 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (G1), 1992 Eddie Read Handicap (G1), and the 1993 Meadowlands Cup Handicap (G1). In late June 2010, arrangements were made to bring this magnificent stallion from Stonewall Farms in Ocala, Florida to Old Friends. This beautiful 23 year-old chestnut now joins the Old Friends family for a well-deserved retirement.

The "Marquetry" hat, a unique design of delicious tones and textures, honors Marquetry's conformation, the racing colors of his stable, Juddmonte Farm, and his impressive career as a talented athlete on multiple surfaces. By special request, this month's auction hat was designed to focus primarily on Marquetry's Juddmonte racing silk colors of pink and green. Coincidentally, these colors are among some of the popular of the season which makes it a wonderful Derby hat choice for Kentucky Oaks celebrations, or if you are looking for the perfect gift for your sweetheart for Valentine's Day!

A lovely pink dupioni silk specifically was chosen for the base of the hat because it is marked with textured white threads running though it which make it the perfect material for reflecting Marquetry's most unusual white leg markings.

The "Marquetry" hat showcases an innovative new design from MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® featuring a dupioni silk brim foundation with three wavy layers of alternating organza and tulle which are intended to reflect Marquetry's three outstanding Grade 1 wins.

The three soft pink organza brim layers, incrementally tiered around the entire brim, add a wavy movement to the design as they alternate with layers upon layers of wispy chocolate and rose pink tulle that catch the light. The overall effect is a stunning representation of the undulating, rippling motion of the magnificently muscled Thoroughbred athlete stretched out at full gallop.

This wide brim Derby hat measures approximately 22 inches, end to end.

The trim centerpiece is a stunning rose curl design created in a mix of bluish-green and pink tones. A large rose curl, hand stitched in a swirling combination of rose shantung and soft pink organza, is delicately framed by a medley of bluish-green shantung leaves that surround it. Glistening chocolate organdy ribbon loops offer the final accent to this stunning centerpiece.

Marquetry is described as "a flashy chestnut". His rich coat is reflected in the russet brown shantung sash, overlaid with a glistening reddish-tinted chocolate organdy ribbon, that surrounds the crown.

A full, medium sized triple bow of gleaming russet shantung and organdy ribbon adorns the back of the hat and gives a certain sense of splendid balance to the entire design.

The purpose of this amazing millinery delight is to honor the life of Marquetry and all of the horses who, thanks to the generosity of those who support their aftercare, now graze in the warm sunshine of Dream Chase Farm for the rest of their lives.

The Marquetry chapeau will be up for bid from February 1st through the 11th, 2011. At the end of the month, the winning bidder's name will be announced (unless they prefer to remain anonymous).  Bid as many times and on as many hats as you like during this running auction. For further information about the eBay bidding process, please contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775. Freight charges will be at the expense of the winning bidder. Winning bidders, please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of your hat in order to ensure proper sizing.

Interested bidders can see the hats for sale and learn more about Steinmann by visiting Maggie Mae Designs®,  www.maggiemaedesigns.com

Similar custom-crafted hats have sold for well over $1000.  Last month's CREATOR hat went for almost $1500!

Steinmann, who owns the Massachusetts-based Maggie Mae Designs®, is donating another six magnificent millinery creations to raise funds for Old Friends, the 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that is home to nearly 90 retired racehorses.  Each hat is inspired by one of the retirees at Old Friends and will be auctioned monthly through April 1st, 2011 with 100 percent of the online proceeds going to Old Friends.


Photo:  Marquetry photo by Rick Capone