Allie-Maillard Conformateur

Discussion in 'Hats' started by alanfgag, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,048
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    There are several threads dedicated to the conformateur on the Fedora Lounge, but most are old and populated with broken links. I've started this new thread and post below a few "before" pictures of the conformateur I purchased recently on ebay. A couple of the ebony fingers are broken and the flat spring that holds the cork lined lid in the closed position has snapped and been modified to perform its function. But it appears that all parts are present, repairable and calling out for some careful cleaning and renovation. The restoration of this great old device will be a winter project. Maybe it will occupy enough free time to keep me away from hat auctions for a while?

    Pictures of the restoration process to follow. In the meantime, I would love for others to post additional photos, reference and knowledge on this device and its sibling, the formillion.

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  2. fluteplayer07

    fluteplayer07 One Too Many

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    You keep getting better and better, Alan! Nice job! :eusa_clap
     
  3. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
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    Are you of a mind to disclose how much this gizmo set you back?

    These things are kinda scarce, as you are surely aware. Congratulations on acquiring yours.
     
  4. randooch

    randooch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Fantastic! It's in good hands.
     
  5. monbla256

    monbla256 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    You know, this requires the requisit "noggin shot" :) After you get it's restoration under your belt, we'll start seeing some of "Al's hats" in the marketplace :)
     
  6. Art Fawcett

    Art Fawcett Sponsoring Affiliate

    Messages:
    3,681
    Location:
    Central Point, Or.
    Alan, Rodney Allison of North Valley Hat Co. can give you pointers on the reno if you'd like. He's a good man and has renovated several. Just email him & I'm sure he'd help
    Good luck with the project. Been there, done that, pretty tough
     
  7. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,048
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanks for the lead, Art. I expect it will be slow going. I used to enjoy woodworking and modelmaking so hoping I will find some joy mixed in with the expletives. 8^)

    Tony, there were two conformateurs sold recently through ebay, both in the four hundreds.
     
  8. rlk

    rlk I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,100
    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    ...and this one from Australia sold today http://www.ebay.com/itm/1800s-Frenc...Hat_Making&hash=item3a6b8fdf70#ht_1442wt_1165

    and this bargain from Germany still available :rolleyes:http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALTER-HUTMA...ssoires_1&hash=item415f7472c2#ht_10762wt_1165
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  9. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,762
    Location:
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    Fifty-five hundred euros? At that price, I'll take two!
     
  10. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    It is in great hands Alan looking forward to seeing how you restore this.
     
  11. RBH

    RBH Bartender

    That is really neat Alan.
    Having seen Major Moores up close it is neat how the thing works to get your head shape.
    Also I believe Mark DeCou may have helped Mike on a few of his missing parts.
    He may be of service to you also.
     
  12. Aureliano

    Aureliano I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,753
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    Macondo.
    Beautiful Alan. The conformateour and your photography of it.
     
  13. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,048
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Thanks very much for the replies and leads. I will keep you posted with photos of the restoration... hopefully a fun project.
     
  14. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,048
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    After a bit of hunting, I was able to locate a formillion to add to my restoration project. From these photos provided by the seller, it seems to be in good condition, with one broken bolt and a missing wing-nut. All the wooden keys appear to be present.

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  15. Lexybeast

    Lexybeast A-List Customer

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
  16. frussell

    frussell One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,405
    Location:
    California Desert
    Good luck Alan, those old gizmos are super cool. I remember a guy using one to measure my head about 20 years ago at a buckaroo festival here in Southern California, and he had printouts of several famous folks he had done. It was surprising to see how lopsided most people's heads really are. We are not as symmetrical as we would like to see ourselves. The same fella also shared with me that he had measured Oprah Winfrey's head, and she wears a size 8! Happy Holidays, Frank.
     
  17. KyleK

    KyleK One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Sounds like a great project! Good luck with it!

    I was in Santa Fe a few months back and stumbled upon the O'Farrell Hat shop. After poking around and looking at all the hats (predominantly westerns) the salesperson plopped a similar device on my head and then put my shape on file, should I ever want to purchase a custom from them. Pretty neat, my wife snapped some very silly looking pictures that I will not be posting here! I thought it was interesting that my shape was punched out on a card in a smaller scale than 1:1 - a linear circumference measurement decides the size of the hat. Makes sense, I suppose, just never really thought about it.
     
  18. alanfgag

    alanfgag

    Messages:
    14,048
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Oprah a size 8 - wow!

    Here is the formillion and stand as it arrived after its trip from South America. It is more compact than I imagined.

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  19. randooch

    randooch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Ukiah, California
  20. Andykev

    Andykev I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    4,086
    Location:
    The Beautiful Diablo Valley
    I have one.....it has been sitting on a shelf for 8 years. Very nice condition. Mine has the "measuring gauge" you don't often see, that is set (reads) when on your head. The metal gauge is broken, I need to have a jeweler or metalsmith soder it back, or replicate the gauge plate.

    They are nice...I recall a man who rebuilds them professionally....Lumber jocks.... http://lumberjocks.com/projects/13131
     

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