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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
American Hatpin Society
The Scrap Album
All About Jewels Dictionary
Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards
Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery
Clubs & Associations
- American Hatpin Society
- Hat Pin Society of Great Britain
- American Society of Jewelry Historians
- Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts
- Society of Jewellery Historians
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
'Collectors Treasures' continues through August 31 in MoorheadBlair Enterprise Publishing, August 21st
The Moorhead Cultural Center of the Loess Hills has a wide variety of collectibles to view. Take, for example, Janet Hein of Moorhead, who has a very nice collection of shot glasses. Hein has them displayed in lovely compartmental case. Remember hat pins?...Read more
In which I have an eBay auction relapseHerald.ie, August 21st
And the "French black felt wide brim day hat with hat pin". And the "Powder blue pillbox feather hat". The hysteria of old was rising up from my toes so I took a moment to brace myself and consider how I'd deal with this situation responsibly and...Read more
Artisan flair bursts out at Port Stephens Community Arts CentrePort Stephens Examiner, August 20th
The carvings and creations of the woodworkers take up the display cabinets in the gallery. Hat pins, boxes, vases, door stoppers, corkboards and carvings made by the centre's woodworkers in the past 12 months, fill the gallery space. In the annex, the...Read more
Heitkamp wins button design contestSidney Daily News (subscription), August 20th
Presale of the button and hat pin will start Sept. 1. Presale for the Oktoberfest sewatshirts and long sleeve tees will be available by appointment starting Sept. 15 by contcting Bonnie Burke, 419-628-3258, Susan Mertz, 419-628-2288, or Joyrce Schwartz...Read more
Community to unearth the secrets of Woking PalaceGet Surrey, August 20th
"We have found a golden ruby hat pin which is now on display at the Lightbox and some really lovely Valencian tiles in blue. "There is a small display at the Lightbox at the moment which we hope to add to." Woking Palace was a significant moated...Read more
Blue Peter to broadcast 12th Doctor SpecialThe Doctor Who News Page, August 19th
A Blue Peter Special - presented by Barney Harwood, Lindsey Russell and Radzi Chinyanganya - takes the three young contest winners Connor, Arthur and Amber behind the scenes of Doctor Who to see their sonic gauntlet, lorgnette and hat pin in action...Read more
Exhibit marks 40th OktoberfestThe Daily Standard, August 19th
Oldiges has compiled a pictorial history of the event including photos of the grand marshals and the young ladies who earned Oktoberfest tiaras. Display cases at the museum hold commemorative mugs, buttons and hat pins. Other memorabilia include shot ...Read more
'More or Less' - Exclaiming and murmuringMorning Star, August 9th
I would never want to fight a giant spider using a hatpin as a weapon, but otherwise, being that small would be interesting. Think of the money I'd save on groceries. An errant spritz of water to the solar plexus breaks my reverie. The hose has a...Read more