Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A true lady and her hats

So last week, while scouring a local antique mall, I rounded a corner in the back to see a pretty hat box on top of a display case. Curious, I looked inside and came across the hat above with the blue and pink roses. Of course it was instant love, and I was so overwhelmed that it took me a moment to notice all of the other hat boxes completely filled with hats sitting around this particular booth.
In my price range, I began looking through all of the boxes of hats and becoming a bit unglued...each one was prettier than the last! There actually are only so many boxes one can carry, so I began taking all of the boxes up to the front desk. On my way back to the booth, I spied someone else moving the hats around. I thought " oh, great, competition for my hats!" As I got closer the gentleman says to me "oh, I am so happy that you are taking some of these hats".
I say, "Well, two things...1.) I am taking ALL of these hats and 2.) Is this your booth?"

Yes, it was his booth, he says and further goes on to say, the hats were all his mother's. Her name was Pansy Valentine and she was born in Saraland, Alabama and she married Cooper Brougher . They lived in Lexington, Kentucky. His father traveled a lot and bought hats for Pansy Valentine. She loved hats. She always wore hats. Some of these boxes are from Stewart's in Kentucky and some of them still have the original tissue and receipts in the bottom of the boxes. I started crying and he helped me carry the boxes to the front.

Ranging from the 1930's to the 1960's, I have been working to restore these hats. A gentle cleaning, some steaming and re-shaping and Voila!, above is a sneak peek into Pansy's hat collection. I think she would be happy that these are going to good homes and hopefully to some ladies that love hats as much as I do now. Thanks for reading!


  1. i started crying while reading that you started crying, thanks a lot! ;)

  2. Me too!!! I started crying too. I love this story, so glad you shared it. It is sooooooo great when you get the story/history of the item. I think the velvet is my favorite.

    P.S. Hope you had a lovely Valentines Day!

  3. oh my goodness!! First of all what a delightful find, and they are all so beautiful! Secondly that story! - I adore her name - Pansy Velntine, I love knowing where my items come from and I can only imagine how excited you were to hear all this :)

  4. Oh my, what a cherished find and not just luck. These hats were meant to land into your hands. MOM