Antique Hat Pins
An antique hat pin is a type of jewellery that holds a hat to a person’s head, usually by the hair.
Historically, hat pins were first made in order to hold veils and wimples in place. However, from the turn of the nineteenth century, hat pins became increasingly fashionably to wear on a day-to-day basis as the popularity of hats soared. Hat pins were manufactured in a number of materials and they became progressively more decorative.History & Description
Hat pins continued to be a customary accessory in women’s’ fashion until the early twentieth century. The length of hat pins was limited in the United States in 1908, due to the possible threat that the suffragettes might use them as weapons.
Guide for collectors
Antique hat pins can be purchased at a large number of online vintage jewellery dealers. A few examples include; Steptoesantiques.co.uk, Vintagehatbox.com, Antiquesavenue.co.uk and Bathsantiquesonline.com. However, prices can vary considerably. Nonetheless, there are possibilities online that can accommodate most budgets.
Collectors can also find examples of antique hat pins on online bidding sites. In January 2012, eBay advertised several pages dedicated to hat pins and prices ranged from $10 to $150.
Antique hat pins are occasionally sold at international auction houses, particularly Christie’s and Bonhams. However, collectors should be aware that prices can vary significantly. The price of an item is usually determined by its age, maker’s mark and condition.
While there are instances of antique hat pins selling for thousands of dollars (see below), as a general rule, antique hat pins usually sell between £100 and £800. Moreover, instances of individual antique hat pins sold are quite uncommon. Instead, hat pins are typically sold either as a group or within a collection of various other types of jewellery.
Collectors wishing to seek more information regarding how to identify genuine antique hat pins can visit Antiques.about.com or eHow. Additionally, two great resources are the official websites of The Hat Pin Society of Great Britain, found at Hatpinsociety.co.uk and The American Hat Pin Society, at Americanhatpinsociety.com.
Notable auction sales
In October 2003, a group of seven hat pins, made in the late nineteenth century, realised a price of $5,019 through Christie’s, New York. The group included a rare hinged red guilloche enamel insect hat pin with an old European-diamond, made by A.J. Hedges & Co., and a hat pin mounted on an 18 carat gold boule, enhance by cabochon and a single-cut ruby.
In December 1996, six antique Art Nouveau hat pins realised a price of $2,185 through Christie’s, New York.
In December 2003, two early twentieth century antique hat pins, containing gold, pearl and green enamel leaf, sold through Christie’s, Amsterdam, for €1,554.
In May 2009 at Bonhams in Knowle, a small collection of four hat pins realised a price of £108.
In October 2009, a hat pin made by Charles Horner, Chester, 1909, realised a price £228 through Bonhams, Chester.
On February 6th 2012, an antique Victorian intaglio glass and brass hat pin sold on eBay for $122.50.