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
- Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts
- Society of Jewellery Historians
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
Original Vince Lombardi Trophy Comes Home to NewarkPR Web (press release), December 4th
Well-known names such as Krementz achieved brand recognition on their own in the 20th century; but other names, such as Henry Blank and Larter & Sons, remained known only to the high-end jewelry stores who sold their cufflinks, brooches, hatpins, ...Read more
DVD Review: Partners In Crime – The Tommy & Tuppence MysteriesBlogger News Network (blog), December 4th
The Sunningdale Mystery – The married couple investigate the murder of a man who was stabbed by a hat pin. 5. The Clergyman's Daughter – An English country house that a young woman inherits could be haunted but the two detectives try to prove ...Read more
One Year on, Indian Women Continue to Be Blamed and Shamed for Being RapedHuffington Post UK, December 4th
Indian women on the bus advised me to buy a hat pin and quietly spear anyone who got close. For them it was a day to day problem that had to be endured. The onus was on the woman to protect herself and no one dared suggest it was the men who had to ...Read more
Malawians unite in battle against AidsScotsman, November 30th
A huge, bent hat pin, this is blessed by the bishop of the Zion Christian Church in South Africa then used to prick people who are HIV positive, to “cure” them by letting out bad blood. Sterilisation plays no part in this ceremony. Other remedies...Read more
Donald Glenn WorkmanNapa Valley Register, November 28th
Among his favorites were travel scrapbooks dating back to 1934, postcards, belt-buckles, and hatpins. The biggest and most important of his collections was his cars — more than 700 were on display in his home. He knew their make and model and what ...Read more
Book Review: Shalom ChicagoKankakee Daily Journal, November 23rd
Bessie Abramowitz sticks hatpins in the hindquarters of police horses while organizing garment workers. Leon Mandel II uses his yacht "Carola" to gather intelligence for the Navy in World War II. Ben Hecht writes "A Flag is Born" for the birth of Israel...Read more
Today's poll: ballpark security at ChaseAZ Snake Pit, November 23rd
If you want a genuinely "secure" environment, then anything less than an airport-style approach is simply empty showboating. You would presumably need your detectors set sensitive enough to detect a hat-pin, all shoes removed and no admission to anyone ...Read more
Hatpin Urchin, Centrostephanus longispinusRedOrbit, November 14th
The Hatpin Urchin (Centrostephanus longispinus) is a species of sea urchin belonging to the family Diadematidae. There are two subspecies, Centrostephanus l. longispinus, found in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea and Centrostephanus I...Read more