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
Museumgoers love a once-sunken Swedish warshipKansas.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 DocumentsWPRO, 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, MelvernOsage 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 GlassMaine 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 SuperstarAussie 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 jewelryDallas 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 WashingtonIdaho 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