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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Clubs & Associations
- American Hatpin Society
- Hat Pin Society of Great Britain
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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
The day Elizabeth Taylor spent trying on my hatsThe Guardian, October 4th
But just as the particular photograph was about to be taken, I got a phone call saying: “Elizabeth Taylor wonders if you'd make her a hat pin?” I said: “Would you ask her if she would like a hat to go with the hat pin?” “She says yes, and she'd like to...Read more
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Jackson County brings nature ...SunHerald.com, October 3rd
For example, in July, visitors spotted a red-headed woodpecker, a bobwhite, a gopher tortoise, an Eastern kingbird, a common night hawk with two chicks and a large black racer snake, as well as swamp milkweed, hibiscus, hatpins and meadow beauty...Read more
Generations pastEmporia Gazette, October 3rd
On it was my grandmother's collection of deadly hat pins. I stabbed myself just moving the cushion. I wonder how many women had bleeding scalps from those four-inch pins and how many women lost an eye as a result of hat-attaching accidents. When my ...Read more
You Say You Want to Get Out: A Day in the Park with Autre Ne VeutNoisey (blog), October 2nd
But for years Autre Ne Veut was simply a cool name he'd latched onto after seeing it engraved on a hatpin in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval collection at its satellite museum the Cloisters (the phrase is French for, roughly, “want no other...Read more
American Women in the 1900s Called Street Harassers 'Mashers' and Stabbed Them ...Smithsonian, October 2nd
Five years later, a woman named Marguerite LeBlanc stabbed a man who put his arm around her on the street with her hatpin. A notorious masher, E.L. Dickson, came to the wrong end of a hatpin in 1910 when he grabbed the arm of Martha Taylor in a ...Read more
UPI Horse Racing Weekend PreviewUPI.com, October 2nd
Saturday's $100,000, Grade III Eddie D Stakes at Santa Anita finds 11 going about 6 1/2 furlongs down the hill. The morning line has more than half of them bunched at odds between 7-2 and 6-1 so it might be time to stab the program with a hatpin. Sprint...Read more
Roland Mouret's nip-and-cinch Galaxy dress helped reshape fashion (and ...The Independent, October 1st
That prompted Mouret to restart his fashion career. He didn't really know how to sew (Gibo had manufactured everything) so his earliest designs were created from lengths of fabric, twisted around the body and precariously secured with hat-pins. “I didn...Read more
Jewellery exhibition focuses on early work by Harry BertoiaDezeen, October 1st
The works in Bent, Cast & Forged vary widely in size, type, and style, including chunky rings, delicate plant-inspired brooches, and abstract nest-like hatpins. Bertoia Jewellery at Cranbrook Museum of Art. Nature, and microbiology in particular, was a...Read more