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

Somerset authorities crackdown on FAIRIES as mystery doors overwhelm ...
Daily Mail, March 4th

Elsie suggested they should take a photograph of the 'fairies' to prove to Frances' mother that she had been telling the truth. The girls drew some fairies, cut them out and pasted them on to cardboard. With a few long hatpins on which to mount their...Read more

Joy's five decades of talking news...
Blackpool Gazette, March 3rd

The grandmother-of-two and great-grandmother, whose son David lives in Lytham, is also a trustee of the society. When not busy with the society, Joy gives talks on her collection of Victoria hatpins – she has around 250. And she directs productions for...Read more

Paris Dispatches: The Day of the Markets / Bon Dimanche
ArtSlant, February 28th

As I walk 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 chandelier...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 tale
Appleton 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 drama
Asheville 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

ISU to stage Civil War play 150 years after it ended
DesMoinesRegister.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 backstory
Detroit 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