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
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Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
Opening for the ages at Renaissance FaireHollister Free Lance, September 18th
The shops in between the event's seven stages sell beaded hat pins, hand-made leather shoes, wooden swords and vials of “fairy dust” that look suspiciously like glitter. By the time a group of faire attendees gathered underneath a canopy of rainbow...Read more
Philip Somerville, the Queen's favourite milliner dies at 84Daily Mail, September 16th
It was usually a case of using two hatpins, he once said. In 1987, he designed a striking fur hat for Margaret Thatcher during a crucial state visit to Russia to meet then president Mikhail Gorbachev. The son of a cobbler who grew up in Winchester, he...Read more
'Strategy to save a failed presidency': Obama schmoozes media behind closed ...BizPac Review, September 14th
His arrogance is huge, but his inflated ego is so enormous, a hat pin would send him circumventing the globe faster than Yeager! I cannot understand how a President that knows, does, accomplishes, achieves, so little, talks so much without substance or ...Read more
Happy faces at the 2014 fairKenton Times, September 11th
Amy Harpster of Waynesfield holds a toy train candy container that won her the top prize in the glassware category in the antiques division at the fair. Two green thumbs. Luke Wilson's marigold caught the eye of the judge in the flower show and earned...Read more
Blues Festival merchandise popping up in local shopsThe Daily News, September 10th
And we will offer BBHF jewelry again this year-hat pins, charms and bracelets.” The shirts, designed by Bogalusan Bill Kropog, include rich reds and blues on a subtle purple tee. “I am very excited about this year's T-shirt,” Knight said. “The colors...Read more
Oktoberfest comes early to Red LodgeBillings Gazette, September 8th
Hikers over age 21 will be able to enjoy a complimentary beer, Oktoberfest mug, and hat pin while hiking. To sign up, contact email@example.com. Several vendors will provide German food and arts and crafts. There will be an Oktoberfest store with ...Read more
Top 5 things to do in Muskegon area this week: 9/11 exhibit, corn maze and moreThe Muskegon Chronicle, September 8th
After injuries and attacks with them, hat pins began to receive news coverage in the 1910s and laws and ordinances were passed in many states limiting the length of hatpins and requiring that they have covered tips. For more information on this unique ...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