This example is one of many marriage-type fake hatpins that entered the marked some years ago. These have had some staying power and they are still being made and sold to a new and unsuspecting hatpin collectors. Keep in mind that just about anything with the correct shape can be joined to a hatpin shank including, and not limited to, clothing buttons, loose beads, old or modern jewelry components, fantasy advertising pieces, watches and powder compacts.
To create this item an iridescent glass button was joined to a cone-shaped piece of similar color with glue. That was then attached to a hat pin shank with a brass finding. The result is a new hat pin that looks like it may actually be old.
The first two images in this listing show a hatpin with a 'Triad' design head offered for sale online just last year. The remaining images show the same fake as made about 10 years ago, when many fakes began entering the market. The second example was purchased out of the estate of a lady with a penchant for pretty vanity items. Even though purchased along with a few other authentically old hatpins, the estate pin was no more authentic a decade ago than the pin illustrated in the first two pictures is today.
This is an excellent example of the maxim that just because a collector or experienced dealer may have owned it, that fact is not a guarantee of authenticity. At any point in time anyone, no matter how experienced, can be sold a fake. And knowing that someone collects can encourage friends and family members, too, to 'gift' a dedicated collector with specious items. Collectors also sometimes purchase items for themselves only because they like them, not necessarily because they believe them to be an antique.
All hatpins have a decorative head and a shank, shaft or pin rod, which can be of various lengths depending on the pin's expected use. These are joined together by metal findings. Old findings always were carefully matched, with the appearance of being a seamless part of the overall design. They should exhibit the same level of patina as do other parts of the pin. Old pins in undamaged condition will never show evidence of glue or soldering.
Authentic hatpins were always sturdily constructed because they were intended for use, too. Keep that in mind when judging the manner in which a hat pin appears to have been made. They were not made simply to decorate a hat pin holder on a vanity table.
In the case of the pin in this listing, first note the differences in the findings in the two examples made a decade apart. The pretty top is the same, the glass cone section on the back that obscures the center, where a button shank could once be found, looks the same, but the metal components used to join the shank to the head are completely different.
This is a clue that speaks to the fact that one manufacturer did not make both pins during the period of time when hatpins were popular and ladies considered them necessary. An original manufacturer would have consistently used the same components, not cobbled something together depending on what happened to be at hand. Learn what types of findings were used in the past, as well as those that will never be found on old, authentic pins. This is one of the best ways to keep from inadvertently buying a fake.
Evidently the contemporary entity making these married button pieces was still honing their craft early on and the estate-purchased pin shows less skill in its making. Note the excess glue that escaped after the glass camouflage cone was pressed to the button back. The newer piece has a much more finished look. And that makes it more difficult to spot the deception.
Today many newer hatpins will be offered with an image showing the back because veteran collectors will want to see how the piece is put together. But that image will generally show the area of joining only with just the right tilt. Or a particularly nicely joined example will have had its back photographed and that one good image will be used to market later additional examples whose sloppier backs would give them away as fakes. Compare images of the reverse side of many similar hatpins being sold by the same person. Chances are that some characteristic such as a singular spot of glare or a small imperfection will alert you to the fact the same identical image of the same reverse side is being used to market all.
If you find one dealer who seems to be selling the same hatpins in the same designs again and again, be wary. Their ability to sell the same pin over and over may indicate they have a steady supply of new items coming from somewhere overseas, if they aren't actually personally making them.
This pin is 1 1/16 inches in diameter and comes with a solid brass rod about 9 inches.
Item ID: 2007RP00048
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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