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
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All About Jewels Dictionary
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Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry
Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery
Clubs & Associations
- American Hatpin Society
- Hat Pin Society of Great Britain
- American Society of Jewelry Historians
- Society of Jewellery Historians
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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
The art of transformationMail Tribune, January 30th
Local artist Tony Chavez, owner of King Hat Pin Striping, is collaborating with Havniear on embellishing cigar boxes for some planned guitars. Chavez says Havniear has a knack for finding unique boxes and creating guitars that are true art pieces...Read more
Buttercross, January 30, 2015: Memories of elections pastLynn News, January 30th
On the lighter side, one victorious candidate in slightly earlier times, while being carried shoulder high through the crowds, had a large hat pin thrust into a prominently protruding area. Chortles at the time, at least amongst some, but which almost...Read more
Are We There Yet? Nature center, ASU Museum call Jonesboro homeArkansas Online, January 22nd
An Army dietitian from the area, she accumulated eye-popping hoards of thimbles, lace-making bobbins, hat pins and snuff boxes. An area labeled "Arkansas Main Streets, 1880-1920" offers tableaux of a dozen local businesses from that era. The offices ...Read more
COLUMN: Cultural enrichment at the Mountain Top flea marketNorthwest Georgia News, January 15th
I feel culturally enriched for being there. We've got the vintage hat pins, Hank Williams album and basketball-playing Jesus to prove it. Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune and is up for any flea market road trip you can recommend...Read more
Truckload of collectables in storeOtago Daily Times, January 9th
''We send hat pins to this lady in Australia. She's got a whole room in her house that is filled with hat pins. ''She's got cushions on the wall to stick them in - it's like her wallpaper.'' If you thought that was bizarre, try the lady who collects...Read more
Lady Business: Mo Mitchell of 'I Just Geeked Myself'Ladybud Magazine, January 7th
I recently had the chance to catch up with Morgan “Mo” Mitchell, a talented artist and hat pin maker in the cannabis community whose pins are amusing pieces of cultural gold, and asked her a few questions about her current works and projects. — Amber ...Read more
The Fall of the House of Von ErichD Magazine, January 5th
One time, after a match, a fan was so angered at Fritz's antics in the ring that she stabbed him in the buttocks with a six-inch hatpin. Fritz-von-erich.jpg As a young wrestler Fritz took on the role of a swaggering Nazi. Memories of the war were still...Read more
Grand Awards 2014: 'Spamalot' at Circle Theatre, 'The Hatpin' at GRCC lead ...The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com, October 12th
In the battle for most awards, it was a duel between swords and hatpins as Circle Theatre's production of “Spamalot” and the Grand Rapids Community College production of “The Hatpin” each garnered five awards. Civic Theatre's “Les Miserables” and ...Read more