I pulled out my three caps - they are not blocked or anything so they look pretty rough - all are brittle and fragile.
This one I found just last summer in the attic of an abandoned house along with other 19th century trash including a pair of peg-soled boots and a battered silk top hat. The body is black wool that looked as if it had a pretty fuzzy pile on the outside at one time:
There is a grosgrain bow stitched to the front. The brim is cloth with some sort of stiffener inside.
There are no markings on the inside. The lining is black cotton that looks as if it was once glazed or polished.
This one I got REALLY cheap on Ebay (less than the price of shipping, back in the days before they insisted on PayPal.) The seller was calling it a fireman's uniform cap but I see no reason other than the general shape to call it that. The welt around the top is stiff like rattan or willow or cane.
There is a skirt that is folded up all around the band that looks as if it should fold down but it is stitched up to a grosgrain bow that does not untie in the front (very similar to the one on the first cap).
Leather sweat band. Silver printed label (GR? & DUTCHER FINE HATS, BINGHAMTON) [English made? NY?]. Very stiff liner in cloth covered brim.
My favorite - I picked it up at an antique shop in Providence, RI in the early 1980s. (I actually used to wear it around - what was I thinking?) Sealskin fur, leather brim.
It has a great silver printed label inside:
I will admit that I cannot nail a date to any of these. They all have extensive machine sewing on them. It is the correspondence of their overall pattern and shape to ones in period images that makes me think they are suitable models for caps from the midnineteenth century although I would not doubt that any or all three could actually date from the later nineteenth century.
On side note - if anyone is looking for a modern-made but cool old timey-looking cap check out Stormy Kromer:http://stormykromer.com/