Over the last year or so my home office has begun to take on a theme. I’ve been accumulating monkeys in fez caps. It began when I bought a change dish with a monkey in a fez sitting on the edge. A few months later my wife bought me a pair of candlesticks shaped like palm trees with fez-wearing monkeys climbing them. Soon thereafter I received a matching bookend. Last week I received as a gift from my brother in law a bobble head monkey wearing a fez. At this rate I believe it will be less than two years before every horizontal surface in the room is festooned with monkeys in fez caps. With this in mind I’d like to know if anyone can explain to me just where the fezzed monkey came from. Why are monkeys and fez caps associated with each other in the first place? Is there somewhere where monkeys were encouraged not to go about without headgear, and how did they choose the fez? Sooner or later someone is going to walk into my office and ask why all my monkeys are wearing fez’s and I need some answers.
Fezzes were being worn in many places around the Mediterranean in the 19th century, and would have been familiar to them. It wouldn’t have been too great a leap for someone to make a tiny fez and put it on the monkey at some point in the proceedings, and since they do look awful cute and would generate more income for the owner, the idea spread.