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
The Scrap Album
All About Jewels Dictionary
Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards
Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
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
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
The secrets of the Queen's travelling wardrobe revealedDaily Mail, November 21st
Her Majesty's hairdresser also keeps a couple of huge hat-pins handy, just in case the ones already in place don't prove equal to the task. Incidentally, you will never see Her Majesty removing her headgear in public; she always waits until she is...Read more
Don't believe everything you see at new photographic exhibition warns ...Bradford Telegraph and Argus, November 20th
Using a hatpin and paper cut-outs, they created images that fooled the world. The photographs came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1920, via Bradford Theosophical Society, and were scrutinised by scientists. Sixty years later, the cousins...Read more
STS9 Announces Special New Years Day EventJamBase, November 20th
November 24 at 10 a.m. MT via STS9store.com. Those tickets include admission to the VIP evening include table seating, dinner, open bar and a champagne toast as well as an exclusive hat pin made just for this event along with a limited edition poster...Read more
Family history come to life: Dress designs lost in Holocaust uncoveredNET Website, November 15th
And all accessories, down to hat pins and shoes, purses and gloves. Modern. Elegant. His wife Hedy was a seamstress — a dress designer. Could Alvin find a firm in Milwaukee who'd hire Hedy and sign an affidavit to grant the couple visas to the US?...Read more
Racing legend Raymond Beadle remembered fondly ahead of NHRA FinalsInland Valley Daily Bulletin, November 14th
Using the things he learned at Texas Tech University, where he majored in agriculture and marketing, he began selling a variety of products emblazoned with that unmistakable logo, everything from T-Shirts and halter tops to hat pins, glassware, luggage...Read more
Madaline has treasures at bargain at Spence'sThe News Journal, November 7th
He finds, among the jewelry trays, a handful of vintage hat pins. One is topped by a sterling silver bull dog. "These are yummies," he said of his discovery. As for the bulldog; "It's awesome." He will resell these treasures at his business: Yummies...Read more
Grand Awards 2014: 'Spamalot' at Circle Theatre, 'The Hatpin' at GRCC lead ...The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com, October 12th
In the battle for most awards, it was a duel between swords and hatpins as Circle Theatre's production of “Spamalot” and the Grand Rapids Community College production of “The Hatpin” each garnered five awards. Civic Theatre's “Les Miserables” and ...Read more
"The Hatpin Peril" Terrorized Men Who Couldn't Handle the 20th-Century WomanSmithsonian, April 24th
In a move that would thrill victim of modern-day subway harassment, she reached for her hatpin—nearly a foot long—and plunged it into the meat of the man's arm. He let out a terrible scream and left the coach at the next stop. “He was such a nice...Read more