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
Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards
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
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Hatpins and Hatpin Holders
Source: Google News
The lure of antiquesStowe Today, September 3rd
It's easy to spend a few hours browsing at Early Vermont Antiques. The sprawling, three-room shop across from the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury Center is chock-a-block with everything from hatpins to pottery to a handmade child's sled. On the...Read more
Veteran's final days of life at VA hospice prompt efforts to ensure dignityPrescott Daily Courier, September 2nd
That member, Chris Bell, said the box didn't contain anything of particular value - some U.S. Army hat pins, a lanyard with a keyring, a water bottle, a bandana and some get-well cards - but it was intended to "cheer him up a little, to show him that...Read more
Art Around TownFlagpole Magazine, September 1st
“Forty of Something: Collections From Our Community” presents 40 glass paperweights from the collection of artist and educator Claire Clements as well as 40 Victorian hatpins from the collection of ATHICA's director, Tatiana Veneruso. Through Sept. 19...Read more
Treasures: Amateur decorating on Limoges plate is 'beautiful'The San Luis Obispo Tribune, August 31st
all but a dresser tray that once graced a lady's dressing table and held such things as a cologne bottle, a candle holder for a single candle, a ring tree, a small box for holding pins and the like, perhaps a powder box, hat pin holder, hair...Read more
Kiwi Play Tries to Bear Fruit in Comical Send-UpBroadway World, August 29th
His most recent achievement was directing the musical The Hatpin, in association with musical director Paul Olsen, for its WA debut (although written and scored by two WA Academy of Performing Arts graduates and experiencing success off-Broadway and in ...Read more
Open Channel D: The Men from UNCLE returnJackson County Times-Journal (blog), August 27th
While I couldn't tell you the rules of our spy games or what secret missions we undertook, I vividly remember our homemade communication devices cleverly created by sticking hat pins into felt-tipped pens. U.N.C.L.E. agents who needed to communicate...Read more
Related News/ArchiveTampabay.com, August 26th
7101 Hatpin Lp., to Viraj R. Balan by Cheryl A. Grantham & James D. Grantham, $423,000, 7/16/2015. 27050 Palmetto Bend Dr., to Kristinya Hernandez & Roger Steve Hernandez by Jamie Groves & Ryan Groves, $410,000, 7/23/2015. 5422 Kemkerry Rd., to ...Read more
Scott Ostler's deep thoughts, cheap shots & bon motsSFGate, August 22nd
Funny thing is, MLB gave Yost the watch as an All-Star Game gift. •Giving Yost a watch he can use to cheat, isn't that like giving Tom Brady a hat pin? •Brady can't catch a break. The drawing of him by the New York courtroom artist makes him look like...Read more