I love wacky vintage millinery tools (and there’s a lot of those).
Nina was using this one today:
It’s not a torture device although it looks like one. It’s meant to be used when you block a hat in one piece (instead of separating brim and crown). This way you can remove the crown block (and use it again if you need to) and use this contraption to make sure the headize oval does not lose it’s shape. Cool eh?!
Here are some more pictures:
She couldn’t resist making one for herself, but…who can blame her?!
Made using vintage materials, she looks very handsome in it!
And she has lent me vintage material so I can make myself one with them:
I had tried to find hat design patents before (after all, I did a lot of reaserch for my brooches) but at that time I was not able to find any.
But lo and behold I recently came across one patent (as often is the case, while searching for something else), and from there it was easy to pull the thread and find many more.
We cannot underestimate the importance of design patents. They are very useful as inspiration to make new designs and invaluable as a dating tool for collectors.
No more talk… These are some of the patents that caught my eye!
To begin with, some multi purpose hats…
An apron that doubles as bonnet, useful if you are a multi-tasking super-woman/housewife (read the text and laugh… or weep):
A combined hat and bag design patent dating from 1918 and a combined cape and hood design patent dating from 1883…
And finally (but not to be used on a windy day unless you want to fly like Mary Poppins), the umbrella hat (curiously it was filed January 1950 and granted July 1954, when it usually just takes a few months for a patent to be approved):
More to come soon!
Jill, sorry for the delay, but you know how wild these mannequin heads are. Here I was, spending the weekend with visiting family while Mimi took a plane and off she went to the Derby. Just arrived today, she has given me a picture for your Virtual Kentucky Derby day posting!
She is wearing a Fred Bare hat that I bought in Paris in the late eighties (one could call it vintage, but then you would also have to call ME vintage… so let’s leave it at that).
Thank you Jill for your wonderful ideas, I love your virtual hat days!
A birthday present from Peter that has arrived in advance. Mimi is my new friend and fellow hat lover (she is not happy unless she has a hat on her head!).
I had dreamed of having a DecoEyes mannequin head but I believe the company is no longer in business because although their website is still out there, they don’t reply to emails. I had my eyes set on Matilda but unfortunately it was not to be, at least not for now.
So I started looking for an alternative and I found my dear Mimi (officially known as Mimi3). A US seller on Ebay that ships overseas had it, and with the exchange rate as it is, it was a good deal. She was well packed for the journey and arrived in about 10 days, which is pretty fast if you ask me.
What do you think of Mimi? I like her big blue eyes and flapper hairstyle, she also has a beautiful long neck, and looks great with a hat on.
She’s made of fiberglass, so she’s very light, and her make up seems to have been spraypainted, although some of the details might have been hand applied.
I had to use scotch tape to keep in place a couple of the hats I have taken pictures of.
Because her headsize is 22″, all of my hats fit her (loosely, which is not a big problem).
Here is Mimi wearing some of my hats: