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
- American Society of Jewelry Historians
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Source: Google News
Paris Dispatches: The Day of the Markets / La Bonne DimancheArtSlant, February 28th
As I walked on I admired ancient dirty tunics of bleached heavy linen, delicate christening gowns, dozens of pince-nez, beautiful leather cases for anything you could ever need, birds wings fastened into hatpins, brass pots, a beautiful brass...Read more
Hold Onto Your Hat!AgWired, February 26th
hatpin I've done a lot of traveling in my day, but never spent much time in Chicago – “The Windy City” – other than a quick layover in O'Hare. I have, however, spent many, many years in Nebraska. When I moved back home after living in Denver for two...Read more
Len Harris shares Frank from Cleveland's trout taleAppleton Post Crescent (blog), February 26th
Frank was admiring my hat pin and I thought "What the heck?" and gave it to him for luck. I fine tuned a few areas on the gazetteer and Frank and his crew were off on their crusade. Frank was sporting a new hat pin and a renewed charge in his battery...Read more
Biltmore's wedding vs. Downton's: More guests, less dramaAsheville Citizen-Times, February 23rd
William Donohue, Herbert Noble, James Ruken and John Bell, all servants in Biltmore House),. •amethyst grapes with jade leaves and jade Malaya grapes with jade leaves,. •two Wedgwood vases and a bowl,. •a shell and parchment fan,. •a Cartier hatpin,...Read more
Inside Oscars' After-Parties With Beyonce, J. Lo, Julianne Moore, Elton John ...TheWrap, February 23rd
For those not inside the Dolby Theatre, the top viewing spot was the Elton John Aids Foundation's 23rd Annual Viewing Party in West Hollywood. After “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” racked up the most Oscars (4 each), and Neil Patrick Harris...Read more
ISU to stage Civil War play 150 years after it endedDesMoinesRegister.com, February 21st
Years later, each daughter cut a button from his uniform and had it turned into a hatpin so they could carry his memory with them. They passed the story down to their kids and their kids' kids, including Cox, whose play about personal Civil War stories...Read more
Book about GM CEO Mary Barra gives backstoryDetroit Free Press, February 14th
Bertha used her hat pin and a garter to fix the faulty fuel line and ignition switch in the Motorwagen. Women and ingenuity have gone hand-in-hand forever. I also think we focus on things that matter in getting goals accomplished. Concepts like 'team...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