At the turn of the 20th century, hats became very elaborate. They were styled with wide brims and piled with ribbons, artificial flowers, feathers and sometimes even complete birds.

The hatpins used to hold these hats to a woman's hair-do were also ornamented - trimmed with semi-precious stones, pearls, beads and filigree metal. The pins were very long, usually about 25 to 32 cm. Apart from securing the hat, they made a convenient weapon for self-defence in emergency situations!

This hatpin stand is an example of the many small decorative accessories so loved by the Victorians. When holding a number of hat pins, it must have resembled a small bouquet of flowers.
McCord Museum of Canadian History

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