Chapeaugraphy, occasionally anglicised to chapography, is a novelty act and 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 headwear
- derby hat
and several inventive others.
Some known chapeaugraphers are
- Tabarin, a French comedian, the creator of Le Chapeau de Tabarin.
- Monsieur Fusier, another French comedian who revived the act.
- Félicien Trewey, who brought the art form renewed interest and a new name, Treweyism, around the world in the 19th century after seeing Monsieur Fusier.
- Paul Wildbaum, a Canadian physical comedy master.
- Sir Richard, a New Zealand event host.
- Fabrice, a French magician based on the Gold Coast in Australia, has an original routine which was presented at the Adelaide Magic Convention 2014.
- Disguido, an Italian duo of Illusionists, have a routine dedicated to the history of cinema, prized with the Mandrake d'or in 2013 in Paris. They have created a lot of new types of figures:
- the phone
- the horse
- the grinder
- Arturo Brachetti
- Félicien Trewey
- The art of chapeaugraphy; or, Twenty-five heads under one hat