Posts Tagged ‘hats’

Hat Pins

October 4, 2013

The writer of this blog is male and that may explain lack of knowledge of hat pins. Do people still use them? Where can you buy them? Such questions I just can’t answer.

Our archivist recalls that her granny was always fussing with hat pins but added, ‘I’ve never used them myself’.

Here are some we have at Market Lavington Museum. Elegance, like beauty, is probably in the eye of the beholder, but these certainly have an elegant look.

1930s hat pins at Market Lavington Museum

1930s hat pins at Market Lavington Museum

Let’s straight away dismiss any idea that these are classy items. They are made of steel and probably come in at the cheaper end of the hat pin price range.

They date from the 1930s and were purchased from a Market Lavington shop. It is annoying that our records don’t specify the shop. It may well have been Walton’s or a successor.

The two pins with the oblique cylindrical heads have a definite art-deco look to them, as befits their age. Of the other two, this one


is described as ‘thistle head’.

This one


is in beehive style.

They are such delightful items it seems a shame if things like it aren’t much used any more.


Another new cabinet takes shape

February 2, 2011

It’s lovely, the way the museums in Wiltshire help one another. Our latest new cabinet at Market Lavington isn’t new at all. It was given to us by our friends at the museum in Mere. At Mere, they had called this cabinet ‘The Salisbury Cabinet’ because they, in their turn, had received it from the Salisbury museum. It came as a godsend to us, for one of our older, wooden cabinets had a dose of woodworm and had to go.

A problem provided us with the opportunity to revamp some of our displays and these are now taking shape in the entrance room downstairs.

New cabinet in the entrance area of Market Lavington Museum

The top shelf has head related items. These include a bowler hatbox and a helmet box, hatpins and hair tidy boxes. There are hairgrips and adverts for hair products.

The next shelf features school items. Prominent is the old school bell, which was once atop the Old School on Church Street, but there are other items too, including donated prize cups, books, a slate and statements of account.

The second shelf up is devoted to lighting and has oil lamps and candle lamps – both domestic and vehicular. There is also memorabilia from Market Lavington’s very own gas works.

The bottom shelf is for toys. At the moment there are a couple of Victorian home made boats and an Edwardian xylophone but more will be added to this area.

When the museum opens in May visitors will see this cabinet as they enter the building.

Hat Pins

January 2, 2011

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 to discover more.

The Hat Shelf at Market Lavington Museum

February 20, 2010

This is a new, display for 2010. Volunteers at the museum decided a shelf could go above the 18th century settle in the upstairs room. The shelf holds a display of hats, which the museum had in store along with a hatbox.

New hat shelf at Market Lavington Museum

Let’s start with the well-travelled hatbox. Labels suggest it has been from Wellington, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia and then back to the UK with Mrs E W Holloway of Lavington. We think the hatbox dates from the 1930s.

Next to the hatbox is a top hat dating from about 1890, which once belonged to the Gye family.

The blue hat with veil was worn to a Lavington wedding on 26th February 1949. The museum also has the blue outfit that was worn with it.

The odd little cap, believed to be a school cap came to the museum from a Lavington resident and dates from about 1900. It has a monogram – D O E F. Do let us know if you can identify it.

The final hats are two bandsman caps as worn by members of the Market Lavington Silver Band. The left hand of the two caps dates from the 1920s. The cap at the end was the style worn at the time the band was wound up in the 1960s.

Hanging from the shelf with only the handles visible in the photo are a pair of parasols. At the left hand end there is a mid nineteenth century frilly brown parasol which was used by the Gale family who lived on The Spring in Market Lavington. At the right hand end there is a less ornate version, which was used by the Crasweller family.