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.


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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders

Source: Google News

Helen McCrory on stripping for action at 46 and giving husband Damian Lewis a ...
Daily Mail, September 20th

She plays the matriarchal Aunt Polly in a Twenties Birmingham gangster family and wields a long hatpin with lethal consequences. It seems only fair after all the fun her actor husband Damian Lewis had playing a war hero-turned-terrorist in Homeland...Read more

With a hot week endured and temperatures expected to moderate...
The Hornet, September 20th

The war-weary audience, which attacked the artists with hat pins or anything else handy, found the ballet “Teutonic” and “Bolshevik.” Cubism was still considered crazy. Satie's kitchen-sink score sunk to the level of music hall for some, to insane...Read more

Keeler Show Notes for Friday, September 19th, 2014
WIBX AM 950, September 19th

His mother got it real bad because one time she sassed the neighbor and got a hat pin in the tounge. - Joe talks about one time he got hit in the face for fighting at school. Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this...Read more

Stained glass exhibits a lot of class
Waterloo Record, September 19th

After she died, her family invited my father to choose a memento from her estate, and he chose this pair of hat pins. They measure 26 cm (10.5 inches) in length, with the stickpin part measuring 11 cm (4.5 inches). They seem to be pleated tortoiseshell...Read more

Music Walk in Carlsbad and a 'Parade' at the Hammer
Los Angeles Times, September 18th

The war-weary audience, which attacked the artists with hat pins or anything else handy, found the ballet “Teutonic” and “Bolshevik.” Cubism was still considered crazy. Satie's kitchen-sink score sunk to the level of music hall for some, to insane...Read more

Opening for the ages at Renaissance Faire
Hollister Free Lance, September 18th

The shops in between the event's seven stages sell beaded hat pins, hand-made leather shoes, wooden swords and vials of “fairy dust” that look suspiciously like glitter. By the time a group of faire attendees gathered underneath a canopy of rainbow...Read more

Philip Somerville, the Queen's favourite milliner dies at 84
Daily Mail, September 16th

It was usually a case of using two hatpins, he once said. In 1987, he designed a striking fur hat for Margaret Thatcher during a crucial state visit to Russia to meet then president Mikhail Gorbachev. The son of a cobbler who grew up in Winchester, he...Read more

Top 5 things to do in Muskegon area this week: 9/11 exhibit, corn maze and more
The Muskegon Chronicle, September 8th

After injuries and attacks with them, hat pins began to receive news coverage in the 1910s and laws and ordinances were passed in many states limiting the length of hatpins and requiring that they have covered tips. For more information on this unique ...Read more