Sunday, 20 December 2015
This is a delightful Art Nouveau stick or hat pin featuring this beautiful lady. She sits back in the metal surroundings and dominates the pin. The border of the hat pin is beautiful, with scroll work and a recess or groove separating it from the centre. It is then replicated by the inner border that smooths and echos the flourishes.
Hat pins were utilised from the mid 19th century for ladies to keep their straw hats in place. The pins then became longer and more elaborate to match changes in hairstyles and hats. The pins were used across all sectors of society and, therefore, one finds pins made from enamel, tortoise shell, ivory and other expensive materials. Equally there would be much simpler hat pins perhaps with just a black or white pin for the working girls. The pins would often be made to match buttons on outfits or to feature gemstones and could be worked in high grade gold or a gold or silver wash.
Starting a collection of hat pins is, therefore, highly rewarding as there is so much versatility to consider, while also providing a great investment for the future.
Consider my lady, she is very indicative of the Art Nouveau period. This is the image we often evoke - a beautiful lady with a bohemian lifestyle. So I imagine her original owner was attracted to her for the same reasons that we are, and probably cared about her deeply. She is in very good vintage condition for her age.
The pin measures 2 3/4" in length with the lady just over 1/4" wide.