Ivory & Certain Types Of Fur Are Basically Banned From All Markets

For a long time, antique and vintage ivory and furs were in a different category from the new ones. It was generally considered okay and ethical to buy and sell these items if they were classified vintage or antique. I have never had much attraction to buying vintage fur, with the exception of some mink hats and headbands, and a few items with genuine fur collars. The list of banished furs includes fur from all big cats, all primate fur, and all types of bear fur. Sealskin products cannot be exported to the USA, European Union, Mexico, or Taiwan. Canada is one of the few countries that permits the sale of sealskin items.

Ivory has become a taboo product due to the poaching, endangered elephants, and the skill artisans have to make it look antique. Although it is not illegal to own inherited or antique ivory, it can no longer be exported or sold. Some of these laws are fairly recent and expanding to include other countries. The only way to identify the age of the ivory is through carbon dating. Recently an antique dealer in Toronto was fined and charged for having carved elephant tusks for sale. As it turned out, they were able to identify the age of the tusks, which placed them in the seventies when poaching was a real problem.

Over the years, I have picked up some ivory necklaces and bracelets but cannot be sure how old the pieces are. It seems the best thing is to donate them to a museum or educational institute. Different types of ivory can be identified by the pattern of the schreger lines. The location the ivory came from can also be identified because they can determine the diets of the elephants by the tusks.

One of the many sad things about the poaching, is that of all the elephants that die naturally, the ivory cannot be used because of the illegal activity associated with it. It’s too bad the elephants were not protected from poachers in the first place. There should have been a method of making sure all tusks were matched to the death of the elephant. The product made from the tusks of elephants that died naturally should have been hallmarked as such. It would be a good idea to have a method of marking during the creation of the piece, similar to what they did to help people avoid buying blood diamonds. Ivory is very beautiful, especially since it has often been combined with some of the most exquisite carving known to man.

As far as the example set in Kenya where tons of confiscated ivory was burned – on principle, I disagree with the destruction of artifacts. However, the issues surrounding the endangerment of these beautiful and intelligent creatures, the horrors of poaching, and the difficulty in accurately dating the ivory – makes the bans understandable.

There can be some confusion in terminology surrounding vegetable ivory and what is referred to as “French ivory”. Vegetable ivory is from tagua nuts and can be carved, decorated or dyed. French ivory is a type of celluloid or plastic that looks like ivory. French ivory and vegetable ivory have nothing to do with elephants or endangered species.

Now it’s time to see if any of the feathers on the hats are from endangered birds! I do have one hat with a real bird on it. It is a black hat embellished at the front with a small blackbird – dating it prior to the 1909 ban on such practices. The moral of this story is an anthropomorphic oxymoron. From an animal’s perspective – humans do some very strange things!

 

 

 

1950’s Cerise & Burgundy Hat Made Of Individually Hand Cut Leaves

This delightful 1950’s hat has an American made Union label. It is made of hundreds of individually cut-out leaves, alternating between cherry and burgundy colours. The hat has a netting with a small velvet bow on the top. It would be unlikely to see someone wearing a hat like this today – but in the fifties, this type of hat would have been a coveted treasure in the top shelf of the closet, and saved for special occasions. It would have been matched to an outfit, possibly a dress and jacket set, and accessorised right down to the gloves and bag.

Fine Feathers Are A Fetching Sight ~ & Fanciful By Day Or Night

Turn Of The Century Egret Feather On A 1950’s Hat

1950’s Feathered Brimless Hat

1940’s (Faux) Bird Revival On Hats

1960’s Single Feather On A Wool Hat

Feather & Matching Trim

1940’s Feather On Velvet & Grosgrain Ribbon

A 1920’s Sequinned Skull Cap With An Ostrich Feather

1930’s Or 1940’s Hat With Purple Feathers

1950’s Special Occasion Blue Feathered Brimless Hat

1960’s Or 1970’s Feathered Fall Hat

1950’s Original With Blue, Black & Red Glistening Feathers

A 1950’s Feathered Hair Band

Celebrating Fabulous Canadian Hat Designers ~ Lilliput, Nadelle, Leopold, Andre & M’Sieu Leon

These wonderful hat designs are mid-century Canadian, made in Montreal and Toronto:

Lilliput, Toronto feathered fedora with velvet accents.

Lilliput Feathered Vintage Fedora in brown tones. made in Toronto, Canada

Lilliput Feathered Vintage Fedora – Toronto, Canada

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Featuring Nadelle, Montreal 1960’s velvet lampshade hat, and Nadelle 1960’s elaborate beaded turban.

 

DSC_0424Nadelle, Montreal
H072frontviewH072nadellesatinhatLeopold Original, Toronto 1960’s Velvet Hat With Big Satin Bow.

DSC_0478DSC_0469Andre, Montreal 1960’s Gold Brocade Turban.

H0058mainH068close2M’Sieu Leon, Montreal 1970’s Beaver Fedora.

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On Valentine’s Day ~ Give Whimsy A Shape ~ & Pique The Waiter ~ With A Tip Of Grapes

DSC_0418Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2016). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Waiting For Her Ship To Sail ~ Vintage Hats With A Bokeh View

For those not familiar with the term, bokeh is taken from the Japanese language and means “to blur”. When taking photographs, there are various different methods, lenses, lighting and techniques to achieve the blur of the background, while getting clarity in the foreground image. These photographs were taken in direct sunlight on an upper deck using a 50mm Nikon lens set at the widest aperture. Other than cropping, there has not been any photo editing done to them. The feature image is a 1950’s straw platter hat. The embellishment on the hat is made of human hair. The last image of the post was taken in the fading light of the afternoon sun. They show variations of ocean background that is blurred, yet retains the outlines of islands, foliage, water and clouds. It creates a naturally beautiful backdrop for some pictures of  vintage hats – from another metaphorical vantage point!… She looks out with a face so pale – waiting for her ship to sail…

vintage hat with human hair accent and bokeh ocean view

Vintage Hat With Bokeh Ocean View

Vintage Hat With A Bokeh Ocean View

Vintage Hat With A Bokeh Ocean View

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Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

Clematis – Capture The Spell Of A Spring Backdrop

It has been an early spring in Vancouver. The kind where you suddenly notice that all the trees lining the streets are in full bloom. The hyacinths, crocuses, and daffodils have been braving the cool breezes too, this past couple of months.  We still have much to look forward to. Like how spring hats and spring flowers go together, reminding us of garden parties,  and the long sunny days ahead. The following pictures were taken on the deck a couple of years ago when the clematis was in full bloom.

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pink velvet 1950s hat with clematis back drop

DSC_0465Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Springtime ~ Hats That Blossom With Their Buds

Among the highlights of millinery craftsmanship, the vintage flowers are almost as uplifting as the real ones. The first hat in the post features a 1950’s hat with a Macy’s New York label. Covered in white flowers with a bright pink flower and pussy willows adorning the front ~ it sings of spring. The underside of the brim is lined with green cut out leaves. The pink hat below it is from the sixties. The flowers on this hat are layered between an organza fabric. The third one is a veiled hair band, that came in a small clear box labeled “Date Hat” for a spring prom or dance. The others are examples of past decade arrangements and colours that show the once very popular practice of putting flowers on hats.

1950's Macy's New York, spring flowers hat

Macy’s New York 1950’s Spring Flowers

Hudson’s Bay

A Date Hat

Modern Miss 1960’s

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies on the Map

Ladies Wear Many Hats ~ An Inside Passage Poem

 

Ladies Wear Many Hats

Ladies wear many hats ~

We put the lady on the map,

To illuminate despair –

To journey where we dare;

To follow rivers to wilderness,

To fly and then return to nest.

To soften contours of the stone –

And pave the road with poems.

Valerie J. Hayes

Early 1900's With Real Bird

Early 1900’s with Real Bird. This Practice was Banned in 1909

1960’s Velvet Rose Hat

1940's Black & White

1940’s White on Black

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1950’s Scarlet Glamour

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

How to Identify & Care For Vintage Hats

When I first started collecting vintage hats, it was enthralling to see all the different designs and colors. Hats from the thirties, forties and fifties were still fairly abundant in the late seventies and early eighties. It was considered “off the wall” to collect them. The general belief was that they would never be worn again. In fact, the key designers have retired or passed away, and many of the styles have never been made again. One thing remains true. Many people wear hats well. There are some gorgeous hats that have survived the test of time and chance.

Vintage Schiaparelli

1960’s Straw Cloche by Designer Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli Label

Schiaparelli Paris Label

1950's Beaded Beanie

1950’s Gold Beaded Beanie

How could they not fascinate us? A hat changes a person’s aura and creates a heady fashion statement that rivals no other part of the attire. During the 19th and 20th century, every design that could be conceived of was shaped into a hat. One of my favourite photographs is of a 1930’s hat that was listed in the Doyle Gallery in New York several years ago. It looked like a bees nest with bees buzzing all around it. There is a comic and whimsical element to a percentage of designs. Just as the hemlines went up after the war, the hats too, became either more utilitarian or more glamorous. The early 1900’s hats were still mostly wide-brimmed and decorated with flowers, berries, ribbons and even birds. The practice of taxidermy to place birds on hats was banned around 1909. Later on, in the forties – there was a bird revival. They used real feathers and made the body of the bird out of something else.

1940's Bird Revival

1940’s Bird Revival

During the eighties, when I collected hats that were mostly dated from the 20’s through to the 60’s – it was because those were the hats that were available and fairly abundant. I did not pay much attention to labels, but studied each hat and bought what I liked. Inadvertently, I did end up with some well known designer labels. Elsa Schiaparelli, Lilly Dache, Macy’s, Stetson Fifth Avenue, Christian Dior, Mollie Entwistle, and Jerry Yates – are some of the designers who made vintage hats to marvel at. There are many other more obscure designers who made hats to the same level of quality as the luxury designers. All were affected by the Second World War, which caused some to flourish and others to fail.

When looking for vintage hats now, I look first for a label. If it is made in China, it is not vintage, even though it may be a vintage style. A label for a quality vintage hat will be fairly large (usually) and will be made of fabric that is stitched into place inside on the back of the hat. Some of the labels have a small flower attached on the side of the label. If there is no label and you believe it is vintage, check the brim, inside the crown, to see if there is heavy grosgrain ribbon. Also, if the hat has any embellishments, evaluate what they are made of, since certain types of fabrics, ribbons, flowers, etc. were used that are not modern day. Sometimes the maker and country of origin is printed inside on the crown of the hat.

Mollie Entwistle Original Vintage Hat Label

Mollie Entwistle Vintage Hat Label

1920's Stetson Fifth Avenue

1920’s Stetson Fifth Avenue

Before I acquired some Stetson Fifth Avenue hats, for some reason I thought Stetson was associated only with cowboy hats. But, Stetson Fifth Avenue made some interesting and upscale hats of different styles. A large percentage of fall and winter vintage hats are made of doeskin felt. Some are made of sealskin, which is often dyed.

1940's Stetson Fifth Avenue

1940’s Stetson Fifth Avenue

In the seventies, hats from the turn of the century were not available to the average person, unless you were a dealer, collector or museum. Hats from the thirties and forties seldom turn up in thrift stores anymore. The hats with face veils often get torn due to the fragility of the veils. Rubber bathing caps – unfortunately, there are only a few that have lasted – since rubber sticks together and disintegrates over time.

1950's Rubber Swim Cap

1950’s Rubber Swim Cap

Most hats can be brushed with a soft bristle natural brush in the direction of the grain and steamed into shape. Unless they are for display, it is best to keep them in a box with some acid free tissue paper. Face veils, rubber bathing caps and feathers require extra attention. Be very careful when steaming hats with feathers and avoid it altogether if the feathers have been glued onto the hat.

Copyright Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage (2014). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valerie J. Hayes and Quiet West Vintage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.