Hatpins reached a peak of popularity between the 1890s and 1920s, as music hall actresses like Lillian Russell and Lillian Langtry fueled the popularity of large elaborate hats without bonnet strings. Having originated in the 1850s to secure straw hats, hatpins became longer and more ornate over time (1910 was the height of hatpin length, with the stems alone reaching 10 to 12 inches).

The mass produced white or black bead on a pin was the basic 'working girl' hatpin, but many high end hatpins were made by jewelers of brass, copper, sterling silver, gold, or gold or silver wash. Other materials included Carnival glass, rhinestones, hand blown molded glass, micro mosaic, or hand painted or transferred porcelain like the Japanese Satsuma. There were also hatpins made with ivory, emeralds, stone, amber, tortoise shell, jet, celluloid and other plastics, mother of pearl, and coral.

Key hatpin manufacturers included Unger Brothers, Lincoln, William Kerr, Alvin Manufacturing, R. Blackington and Company, Day and Clarke, and The Sterling Company. Notable hatpin designers included Charles Horner, Louis Tiffany, William Codman, James T. Wooley, Barton Jenks, and George Gebelein.

Hatpins spanned many styles including Baroque, Etruscan Revival, Greek Revival, Egyptian Revival, Oriental influence, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and even Art Deco, before waning around WW1 when metals became scarce and hats got smaller.

Collectors also seek specialized hatpins, including hallmarked hatpins, hatpins that serve vanities, opera hatpins, and compact hatpins that have a mirror and a powder puff. Amethyst and pearls are popular, as well as Plique-a-Jour enamel. Hatpin holders are also sought after.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

American Hatpin Society

American Hatpin Society

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The Scrap Album

The Scrap Album

Malcolm Warrington’s The Scrap Album is a handsomely organized site, as you’d expect from an articulate champio… [read review or visit site]

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

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Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

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Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]

Jewel History

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Since March of 2007, readers of Lori Ettlinger Gross’s JewelHistory blog have been treated to her weekly (sometim… [read review or visit site]



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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders

Source: Google News

Museumgoers love a once-sunken Swedish warship
Kansas.com, April 19th

My wife, Michelle, and I hustled in for a book for the coffee table, a hatpin for our travel flag, and pamphlets for our boys. Two years later, we went back and were transfixed for many more hours. The life of the Vasa was short. Our fascination with...Read more

Monica Lewinsky E-Mail Omitted from Latest Batch of Clinton Documents
WPRO, April 19th

In 1996, after an initial affair with the president had stopped according to the Starr report, Lewinsky described the relationship to Raines and showed her gifts allegedly given to her by Bill Clinton, including “a hat pin approximately eight inches...Read more

AUCTION: Noon, Sunday, April 27, 2014, Melvern
Osage County Online | Osage County News, April 15th

Selection of Enamel Pans, Tupperware, Old Fruit Jars, Pictures & Frames, Tea Pots, Hat Pins, Pocket Knives, Etc., Etc. Good Selection of Glassware, Dishes, Etc., Including Cake Plates & Dishes, Collector & State Plates, Kitchen Utensils, Etc. Some...Read more

Designer: 'Every woman has a hat style'
Plainview Daily Herald, April 13th

“In Texas, you nearly have to have a hat pin,” because of the wind, Houx said. “But where do you find a hat pin these days? So I started making my own hat pins to match the hats.” Houx believes there's a hat for everyone, including women who claim they ...Read more

Numbers Stack Up Quickly at Auction of American Brilliant Cut Glass
Maine Antique Digest, April 13th

The auction was periodically punctuated by relics of luxurious living of America's Gilded Age, namely curios like an American Brilliant cut glass pedestal hatpin holder, butter pats, knife rests, tazza, finger bowls, a ramekin, and a dinner bell. But...Read more

James Millar to join the US arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar
Aussie Theatre (blog), April 9th

Australian music theatre star, and book writer behind such smash hits as Der Gelbe Stern, Love Bites and The Hatpin, James Millar will be joining the cast of the US arena tour of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar commencing in June 2014. James Millar...Read more

McKinney Area Newcomers Club will discuss costume jewelry
Dallas Morning News, April 9th

Guest speaker Kimberly Moore has been a motivational fitness speaker to over 80 corporations, churches, professional organizations, nonprofit and social groups. In recent years, she has acquired a new interest in collecting vintage clip earrings, hat...Read more

Volkswalking alive and well in Northwest Washington
Idaho State Journal, April 8th

“Once you finish a book,” Myron said, “you send it in and you get a patch, hat pin or certificate. Myself, I like to travel. So we plan our trips around these walks. My goal now is to do 100 walks in a year.” Pepia admitted to doing the same thing...Read more