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“Mr. Egen” Man Tipping His Hat, 1855-68
Whether one is doffing one’s cap or tipping one’s hat, the act of lifting headwear off one’s head is a sign of greeting. It is a simple signal of respect, recognition, or salutation between persons. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a hat tip was a common greeting between friends or acquaintances while walking or meeting at a social gathering. Typically, two men would lift or tip their hats to each other, rather than exchange words of greeting. Because women wore bonnets that tied on or were held in place with hatpins they were exempt from this practice. The hand salute used by the military is thought to have originated as a stylized hat tip.
Single figure in box