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The Lapp Hat

Clifford Lee, the famous Liverpudlian Romani who carried the ashes of Romany scholar John Sampson up Foel-goch in Snowdonia where Sampson's son scattered them, was drawn by Sven wearing this Lapp hat. It's one of two drawings of Clifford Lee for sale on our website.

It was fascinating to see this hat, often painted and drawn, and much treasured by Sven come up at the recent studio sale of his work. In his autobiography Sven recalls the moment Mai Zetterling (who he referred to as the Ice Queen) gave it to him, explaining the significance of the tassel.

Worn at the back meant they were young and not interested; while working it was worn at the side, and a grown up man who was ‘interested’ flicked it to the front. ‘Zere! like ze stallion’s crest!’ she is reported to have said. ‘I was enchanted.’ Sven wrote. (p.74 Virgo in Exile, Finishing Publications)'


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