View Full Version : Vintage Borsalino
01-25-2004, 11:33 AM
I won this hat on ebay a month ago:
The felt is very soft and pliable. Just like my Optimo Indy. It has a sewn in liner and the sweatband is sewn straight to the felt without the synthetic strip newer hats have. It has the nearly 6 inch row of corrugated material under the front of the sweatband. The brim is 3 inches wide and the crown is about 5 1/2 inches unbashed. It has a store name, Will H. Melet Co. of Clarksburg W. Va stamped on the sweatband. Under the band there's a paper tag :
179p 19019 7 5/8
There's another tag under the sweatband that is the store price tag and it says $20. I would imagine the price today on this hat would be up there with the Optimo. It appears to have been rarely worn, if at all.
Is there any way to indentify the year on this hat? I tried emailing Borsalino of America, but haven't heard back from them.
01-25-2004, 12:11 PM
I don't know how to identify the year of the hat, but it's a very nice find. I bid on that hat too, but it got to be too much for me. Glad a good guy got it! ;)
Does it still have the c-dent in the top of it, like in this picture of it?
01-25-2004, 01:31 PM
Like an Optimo, you can do that bash or a center dent, whatever you wish, and yep that's the one. You came in early and I came in late on that one. I think I'm gonna Bogartize it though. Remove the bound brim and put a wide ribbon on it. Just won an auction on a "Vintage Stetson Bogart" size 7 3/4 yesterday, so can't wait to see that one up close. That'll be my 3rd vintage fedora.
01-25-2004, 04:27 PM
Beautiful Borsalino, and going by the price, made when it was still a family business. I have been keeping an eye out for this same model. I plan on keeping the narrow ribbon as I have grown fond of how the Stetsons of this same style look on my head. The only thing that I don't like about the Borsalinos is how they attach the sweatband on the hat. You can't reuse the band, and make it look good. In fact, on my Borsalinos, the only visible stitching(holding on the sweatband) is up front where the corrugated portion is stitched on to the hat. How'd they do that? Glad to see you joined the vintage club. Boy, this site here has really bumped up the prices lately. Its getting hard to buy a nice vintage hat for 20 odd dollars nowadays. I quit bidding on my last two when the price got past 75 bucks. One was for a 3x Beaver felt hat!!! You would have thought it was a 10x. It did have that nice pleated liner though. And from a small hatter too. Fedora
01-26-2004, 02:10 PM
DO NOT remove the bound edge, I promise that you will be very sorry. You will ruin the vintage value. Ask Art about this hat. No you will get nothing from the current factory on the history of the hat. Come on, customer service on a 50 year old hat? NADA.
You did get a fine hat, and I bet you know now that you can shape, reshape, bash, the crown many different ways by hand, no block required. Very fine. I have a Dobbs that is from 30's same look. I will NEVER alter it. Unfortunately, just a tad snug, its a 7 1/4 and I'm a 3/8!!!!
01-26-2004, 06:37 PM
Dakota, the best i can tell this hat could be from about 1945 to 1955. The crown is taller than early 40s, but that isn't always the ringer. the liner is one that was used fro a very long time but chages in the late fifties. This is exactly the style my everyday hat is, but black. Nice prize!!!
01-26-2004, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the comments. Do you know when the clear plastic was first used to protect the liner? That's what made me think this hat was possibly from the 30's; the lack of a liner protector.
01-28-2004, 09:49 PM
The plastic liner started out not as plastic but something called
"pliofilm" which actually was oiled silk, in the late 1800s. The film became brittle over time and basically disintegrated . Although the basic style was offered in the 30s, I don't believe your hat is from that era. The shape is slightly wrong and I have had this hat many times. It's a terrific lid no matter what age it is so enjoy!!
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