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

Fine Arts results
Sidney Daily News (subscription), July 24th

Personal item: hat pin, holder: Craig Heeley, of Sidney, first. Tool, small hand: Lindsey Jung, of Anna, first; Tom Jung, of Anna, second. Tool, long handled: Bernard Zircher, of Fort Loramie, first. Tool, farm implement: Bernard Zzircher, of Fort...Read more

Long Read: The Cottingley Fairies - A Weird British Story of Myth and Hype ...
Anglotopia.net, July 22nd

They cut them out, painted them, supported them with hatpins, and threw them in the beck when they were done. However, the fifth photograph remained controversial; Elsie admitted it was a fake, but Frances maintained that it was genuine. Elsie said in...Read more

Video of real Marines busting phony officer for stolen valor
BizPac Review, July 22nd

for 26 years ('in combat') when his service stripes only show 15 (all of which have been overseas), he's somehow a Sgt Major and he's an officer at the same time, he's Airborne (with his little combined jump wings and Ranger Tab hat pin from Ranger...Read more

Why the world went wild for King Tut
Telegraph.co.uk, July 20th

Jewellery designers, including the French firm Van Cleef and Arpels, began churning out brooches, bracelets, earrings, pendants, hatpins and other trinkets decorated with ancient Egyptian motifs, such as animal-headed gods, vultures and winged scarab ...Read more

Stage: Treading the boards
The Age, July 20th

James Millar and Peter Rutherford's The Hatpin was one of the more exciting new musicals to have been created in Australia in recent years, and the pair's next collaboration is currently enjoying its world premiere at the VCA. A Little Touch of Chaos...Read more

World premiere for duo's latest collaboration
Sydney Morning Herald, July 20th

James Millar and Peter Rutherford's The Hatpin was one of the more exciting new musicals to have been created in Australia in recent years, and the pair's next collaboration is currently enjoying its world premiere at the VCA. A Little Touch of Chaos...Read more

Families honor memories of Sea Wing victims
Republican Eagle, July 16th

Becca Knudsen and Mary Brunner of Red Wing carried a piece of tatting done by their great-great-grandmother, plus her hat pin. Cousin Steve Danielson, who drove down from Minneapolis, tossed orange and yellow lilies into the waters above the spot ...Read more

Hope, courage and mother's love in WA premiere of murderous musical
NewsMaker (press release), July 4th

ONE of Australia's darkest child murder cases seems an unlikely topic for a musical – but despite its macabre origins, The Hatpin is a story of hope, courage and a mother's undying love for her child. Written by WA Academy of Performing Arts graduates...Read more