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
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The Scrap Album
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Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery
Clubs & Associations
- American Hatpin Society
- Hat Pin Society of Great Britain
- American Society of Jewelry Historians
- Society of Jewellery Historians
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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
Jewellery designer appeals for information following theftRetail Jeweller, July 2nd
All of the pieces pictured are unique pieces, with the exception of the cupid hat pin (of which there are two others, both owned by the designer's friend in Edinburgh). Thompson believes the thief to be a man who had access to her home and whom she ...Read more
Patriotic Trifari pin surged with diplomat's bookPress of Atlantic City, June 26th
Answer: Your Uncle Sam top hat pin, a popular World War II-era piece, was made by Trifari, Krussman & Fishel, New York City jewelry manufacturers. Italian immigrant Gustave Trifari founded the company in 1910, and by 1925 it had become a corporation ...Read more
Hints From Heloise: Stick it to the dirtWashington Post, June 24th
Dear Heloise: If you don't have time to vacuum, or it's too hot, you can use a roll of DUCT TAPE OR MASKING TAPE to pick up any obvious crumbs, bits of paper, etc. -- Mary E., Albany, N.Y.. Mary, duct tape to the rescue again! I was in your lovely city...Read more
Helpful HintsNWAOnline, June 23rd
It's now my pincushion for costume-jewelry pins. I use old hat pins to hold my rings. This makes a handy holder. -- Patsy B., Lubbock, Texas. DEAR HELOISE: I have a top-loader washer. When I am done washing, I leave the lid open. I've never had mold or ...Read more
Ditch lines can be refuge for savanna milkweedTallahassee.com, June 11th
away undergrowth and shrubs, allowing the formation of a rich layer of herbaceous plants, including grasses, sedges, orchids, ferns, lilies, milkweeds, sunflowers, hatpins, meadow-beauties, and carnivorous sundews and pitcher plants, among other...Read more
Fernwood Fells local 'Garden of Eden'Bloomington Pantagraph, June 7th
Despite its somewhat risqué reputation (at least by early 20th century standards), Jones was unaware of a single young lady forced to brandish a hat pin under the tree. “In the good old days,” he added, “when a lady pulled a ten-inch hat pin from her...Read more
String gardens take houseplants to new heightsDuluth News Tribune, May 29th
To start a secure wrap, tie a small loop at the end of the string and then use the U-shaped pin made from floral wire to attach it to the bulb (sort of like inserting a hat pin), then start your wrap and finish the same way with a loop and pin at the...Read more
Hat, Pins Stolen from Pocono Marine Veteranwnep.com, March 10th
STROUDSBURG — Someone in the Poconos stole a hat from a gas station in Stroudsburg last weekend, but it's not just a hat. On it were three invaluable pins that belonged to a retired Marine. Daniel Jeffreys of Delaware Water Gap works at the Weis Gas ...Read more