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Q: hat type ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: hat type
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mortherr-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 07 Jan 2003 14:11 PST
Expires: 06 Feb 2003 14:11 PST
Question ID: 138962
Saint Thomas More wore a hat.  Someone told me it was a judges hat. 
It's basically black felt and somewhat of the form of a sailors hat. 
Its larger though, and has kind of a rounded cornered square look if
viewed from the top.
Anyway I wanted to know where I could buy such a hat.

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 07 Jan 2003 14:56 PST
Can you tell us where you saw this hat depicted and so we can examine it?


Clarification of Question by mortherr-ga on 07 Jan 2003 17:07 PST
I saw this hat on a tapistry in Our Lady of the Angeles Cathedral in
Los Angeles...The big new Cathedral.  In the main church there, there
are tapistries on either side of the isles depicting the saints.  This
was where I saw the Saint Thomas More wearing the hat.
Subject: Re: hat type
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 08 Jan 2003 16:17 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi mortherr-ga,

Thanks for your question.

The hat that you’re looking for is, as Pinkfreud-ga identified below,
a biretta. Described as a “square cap with three ridges or peaks on
its upper surface,” it is still in use today by many clerics.


As I said in my comment below, I’ve found birettas that are variants
of what Thomas More wore in the picture Pink found. They all have poms
on them. The only thing I can suggest is that you might try seeing if
it is possible to get the biretta without the pom by contacting the
places that sell them.

Pax House has birettas for sale in several colors for $85 a piece.
They are located in Mexico but ship to the United States, but they do
request you contact them prior to sending any money to ascertain if an
item is still in stock. Their contact information is:

Phone - Mexico:
011-523-33-826-2657, or
Fax - USA: (775) 659-5914, or

and the birettas they have can be viewed at 

Pax House

F.C. Ziegler Company offers birettas in several colors. They can be
purchased online (they also have a handful of retail
locations—addresses available off their website) for approximately

F.C. Ziegler Company

Catholic Supply of St. Louis has variations ranging from $85-105.

Catholic Supply of St. Louis

They also come up for sale on e-Bay ( from time to

I hope this answers your question. If you need additional information,
please ask for clarification before rating my answer.


Clarification of Answer by luciaphile-ga on 09 Jan 2003 05:33 PST
Search strategy:
birettas sale
birettas price
"thomas more"
mortherr-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Well this is my first attempt to get something answered from Google Answers.
I am very pleased with the results.

Subject: Re: hat type
From: pinkfreud-ga on 07 Jan 2003 15:00 PST
Is this the style of hat you're looking for?
Subject: Re: hat type
From: pinkfreud-ga on 07 Jan 2003 15:20 PST
I believe this type of hat is called a magisterial birettum (or
magisterial biretta.) It is a variant of the type of hat worn by some
Roman Catholic clergymen today, and is also related to the mortarboard
worn at graduation ceremonies.

I haven't been able to find a place where one may be bought.
Subject: Re: hat type
From: mortherr-ga on 07 Jan 2003 17:01 PST
Yes, this is the hat I am looking for.
Subject: Re: hat type
From: luciaphile-ga on 08 Jan 2003 11:08 PST
I've found a couple of places that sell birettas that are pretty close
to the image Pinkfreud found, but they all also have poms on them.
Subject: Re: hat type
From: mortherr-ga on 08 Jan 2003 15:10 PST
Well go ahead and see what you find and send me the links and I'll be
satisfied.  You've found the hat and the name and even a few stores. 

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