Remember my great-grandmother Dora? I shared some gorgeous pictures of her and her family and showed you the 1920s beaded pieces I am lucky enough to have that belonged to her (or possibly her mother).
Dora collected hat pins (among other things). Once I started making hats, my mother and grandmother would say what a shame it was that the collection didn't come to our side of the family, and I too wish that it had. Of course I am blessed to have as much lovely old family stuff as I do, and I try to remember that and enjoy these things.
You can't help indulging in a bit of wistful and wishful thinking though, and this has grown in me a fascination with hat pins. I plan to learn some jewellery making skills and make my own, but so far that hasn't happened, and instead I am starting to buy a small collection.
First, I bought a pin off ebay. I don't even think it is a hat pin, but some other-purposed pin, since it is so small (about 2 inches long). This was one of my big regret impulse online purchases (there's been a few), and I gave up on the hat pin idea for a while.
Then I went to lunch before Christmas with a very dear friend from work and got to meet her family. It was a bit of a "While You Were Sleeping" family event. (In my family, whenever a conversation is getting confused and going off in multiple and/or odd directions, you can say "These mashed potatoes are so creamy" and that sums it up!) If you aren't familar with the movie, what I mean is that I felt instantly welcomed into this warm and loving family, but it was also a bit crazy. In a good way. And I was given (given!) two family hat pins by my friend's lovely mother. Belonging, if I remember correctly, to her grandmother and great-grandmother.
One, by the length, I would say is Edwardian or Victorian, made to go through a large wide hat over some large wide hair.
The other is an interesting textile and metal combination, with a much shorter pin. I would guess at 1920s, but I'm not sure. In fact, I'm pretty clueless about hat pin eras, so I won't even guess for the rest.
So by this point I was starting to get hooked. At the trade show for the International Millinery Forum I saw a few vintage hat pins. There were a few I liked, but this one in particular had an unusual design that really appealed to me.
I cautiously asked how much, and was told $2! Mine! And some more thank you very much!
Finally, the latest addition, at $4 from an adorable little "Old Wares" shop on an otherwise-residential street corner in one of the suburbs surrounding Wollongong.
They are all a bit damaged, but so cute and charming. What do you think? Which is your favourite?