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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Doctor Who Season 9, Episode 4 - "Before the Flood"PopMatters, October 13th
over can buy their nippers yet another piece of merchandise at Christmas), where does one draw the line? Will there be sonic lipsticks, sonic hatpins, sonic codpieces? Actually—preposterously—we've seen two of those already. (Try and guess which...Read more
London Aisle View: A Rose By Any NameHuffington Post, October 12th
So when an Angela or a Patti storms on like a cyclone at the start--before she gets to sing her first song ("Some People") or even has a chance to go after Uncle Jocko's balloon girl with a lethal hat-pin--you know just who's going to dominate the evening...Read more
85-year-old French Dominatrix and Her Concubine Let Us Into Their Chateau of ...Bedford + Bowery, October 9th
In her piece, “The Thin End of a Whip,” she describes the dominatrix as “a modern-day Marquise de Sade” who, over the last 40 years or so has “pierced and cut some of her guests with hatpins […] locked others in small iron cages, crowned them with...Read more
Will Delta Queen let Kimmswick forget previous disasters?Leader Publications, October 7th
Neither did her buddies, whom I dubbed the Hatpin Ladies. Their hatpins proved mightier than the poker chips. After several years of public relations and legal maneuvering, the gamblers threw in their hand in 2001 and left town. The Hatpin Ladies and...Read more
Mayor's lapel pin collection represents years of travels, experiencesTimes Daily, October 4th
John Ishee and his girlfriend, Wesli Phillips, own Shakedown Goods, which sells a wide variety of art- and music-themed lapel and hat pins, among other items, primarily at music festivals. They started the business in Madison but moved to Idledale...Read more
The day Elizabeth Taylor spent trying on my hatsThe Guardian, October 4th
But just as the particular photograph was about to be taken, I got a phone call saying: “Elizabeth Taylor wonders if you'd make her a hat pin?” I said: “Would you ask her if she would like a hat to go with the hat pin?” “She says yes, and she'd like to...Read more
American Women in the 1900s Called Street Harassers 'Mashers' and Stabbed Them ...Smithsonian, October 2nd
Five years later, a woman named Marguerite LeBlanc stabbed a man who put his arm around her on the street with her hatpin. A notorious masher, E.L. Dickson, came to the wrong end of a hatpin in 1910 when he grabbed the arm of Martha Taylor in a ...Read more
Viewing new exhibit by Nicora Gangi worth the wait (Review)Syracuse.com, September 28th
Gangi has appropriated this nuanced section of Vermeer's painting and makes it her own by adding an exquisitely painted bird's nest near the bottom right corner that holds a delicate blue egg, a pair of hat pins and a key dangling from one of the pins...Read more