Hat Pins

At Market Lavington Museum we have a number of hat pins, which were once vital fashion accessories. Hat pins have been made since the 1600s but their 100-year heyday was from about 1850 through to 1950.

This collection has been on display, along with hats, for some years. They date from about the 1890s to the 1930s.

Hat pins at Market Lavington Museum

One, which we think, is interesting dates from the 1920s and the pin head is in the shape of a golf club. It must have belonged to a lady golfer who wished to look the part.

Hat pin with a golf club head

Another pin, which dates from around the start of the twentieth century has a pin head made of faceted glass – very stylish and decorative.

Faceted glass head to a hat pin

As for almost any topic, there is a huge history to be uncovered and discovered. But The Hat Pin Society of Great Britain has done the task very thoroughly. Why not visit their website at http://www.hatpinsociety.org.uk/ to discover more.

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3 Responses to “Hat Pins”

  1. G. Bois Says:

    This is an excellent website for what must be a most interesting museum. My interest is in your sunbonnet collection and I note the cotton bonnet was put up in 2010. You say “today’s bonnet”, are you going to change the image from time to time, so we can eventually see your whole collection?

  2. Giles Bois Says:

    Dating can be difficult as, unless the pattern is a little used one, they were widespread over distance and time. However, it is possible to date when they were made, by dating the fabric and the thread used. My suggestion is that you get in touch with the Museum of English Country Life at Reading University as they probably have someone with expertise in this area. You could email me photos and I could have a go at dating, but I am no expert and I would suggest this Museum or the Costume Museum at Bath (the latter deal in fashion, though). There is expertise overseas (US and Aus.) but I would suggest sticking to the UK as changes in style and materials can vary in time from place to place. If you have no luck with Reading, you could try curators at certain regional Museums, maybe Hull, Jersey Heritage Trust, the National Trust of Guernsey (theirs may be retired by now), Museums in Dorset and Hampshire, Newcastle and Hull, and possibly others who have made studies of their local bonnets and have items with provenance (datable that way). I can send you an article from America on the dating of fabrics and stitching and suggest a publication (this will involve attachments, so by email).

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