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Chapeaugraphy, occasionally anglicised to chapography, is a panhandling trick in which a ring-shaped piece of felt is manipulated to look like various types of hats. The act originated in 1618 with Parisian street performer Tabarin, the most famous of the charlatans who combined a French version of commedia dell'arte with a quack medicine show.
In the 1870s another French comedian, Monsieur Fusier, revived the act and managed 15 hat-twisting styles in his act.
Types of hat that can be created:
- baseball cap
- American and British army hats from the Revolutionary War
- pirate's hat
- naval captain's hat
- Mickey Mouse ears
- Ushanka (a Russian fur hat)
- mortarboard (a graduation cap)
- Catholic nun's headgear
- derby hat
and several inventive others.
Some know chapeaugraphers are
- Tabarin, a French comedian,
- Monsieur Fusier, another French comedian who revived the act,
- Paul Wildbaum, a Canadian physical comedy master, and
- Sir Richard, a New Zealander event host.
- List of Circus and sideshow attractions