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German & Austrian Hutmachers

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16,683
Location
Maryland
Behind the sweat band someone wrote: "Horen" or "Hosem"? Doesn't make sense.

The handwriting on the label just says "Christian" as far as I can see. But as I looked closer on your very good Website-thread about Maysers, I saw that there must be a stamp in the middle. It definitely doesn't say "Orion" in my opinion. It's really hard to make out as the colour faded and the handwriting on top makes it even more difficult. I tried to photograph it and gave an example what I would read: a capital "D", then about 3 other letters, then "ra", and then oddly enough two "mm" with a slight offest downwards.

If I should make a guess about the missing letters, there would be "f" (the top seems to be there) right after the "D" (or is is a P maybe) and then "a" and "o" (or the top of it, so could be "n" also). Would make Pfaora(mm) - which makes no sense.

Does that tell you anything?

View attachment 470043



View attachment 470042
Thanks again.

>>Behind the sweat band someone wrote: "Horen" or "Hosem"? Doesn't make sense.
I was thinking there might be a date.

>>
But as I looked closer on your very good Website-thread about Maysers, I saw that there must be a stamp in the middle. It definitely doesn't say "Orion" in my opinion. It's really hard to make out as the colour faded and the handwriting on top makes it even more difficult. I tried to photograph it and gave an example what I would read: a capital "D", then about 3 other letters, then "ra", and then oddly enough two "mm" with a slight offest downwards.
>>
Don't know what that could be. I do have an "Diadem".


Can't see if "Orion" is on the paper label of the other "Orion". Unfortunately I can't get a better photo.


What is on the paper label doesn't always match what is on the Tip Patch, Liner or Sweatband and that doesn't apply to just Mayser.
 

Mean Eyed Matt

Practically Family
Messages
947
Location
Germany

"Altenburger Hut & Putz GmbH" have a new name "Altenburger Hut und Kostüm GmbH" after insolvency. Their website doesn't work anymore. Matt lives nearby so maybe he will post.

"Today the hat factory in Lödla is the only hat workshop still producing in central Germany. In 2001 Harald Etzold took over the company. After the theaters were often closed during the corona pandemic and many orders were lost as a result, insolvency came last year - and at the turn of the year the saving takeover by "Matamorph GmbH". The company is now called Altenburger Hut und Costume GmbH. Etzold continues to work as operations manager."

[/URL]
Thank you, Steve, for the reminder: I've also read about insolvency, but didn't check till now,
what the situation looks like in the meantime. I will have to do that and also check what assortment they still have.

By the way: I recently noticed that a distant 'friend' of mine worked in the accounting department of the Altenburg hat factory from the 70s until its dissolution in the early 90s - I will have to interview him, too!

All the more exciting is your new Max Förster find: I've been looking for years, but they are extremely rare. Really great example, Steve!
 

Mean Eyed Matt

Practically Family
Messages
947
Location
Germany
Ah sorry, I forgot the bow!

I did take a look at the invoice again and recognized, that there are some interesting things about it. Beside the size-lineup: There's another model called "Castello". Do you know what kind of hat that is? Secondly I was surprised that the other hat is much more expensive. But then I tried to read the handwritten line below: The Castello is the Velour hat here. So maybe this explains the price (I guess the Velour hats were more expensive). That in return would mean, that "Orion" has nothing to do with the felt finish, but is just the shape of the hat block. Do you know of any Orion that is not Velour?

I struggle with one handwritten word in the line for the Orion: "dunkel **** farb. Haarhut, flachrund". The **** seems to be "m" (?) and "rd", maybe a point afterwards, so this could also be an abbreviation (a colour name?). What could this be?


View attachment 469945 View attachment 469946
I am pretty sure, the word between 'dunkel' und 'farb.' ist 'mode'. Doesn't sound like it makes sense at first, but who knows - the name for this kind of hat is also 'Modehut'...

By the way: This Mayser is a gemm, so congrats to you!
 

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
Thanks again.

>>Behind the sweat band someone wrote: "Horen" or "Hosem"? Doesn't make sense.
I was thinking there might be a date.

>>
But as I looked closer on your very good Website-thread about Maysers, I saw that there must be a stamp in the middle. It definitely doesn't say "Orion" in my opinion. It's really hard to make out as the colour faded and the handwriting on top makes it even more difficult. I tried to photograph it and gave an example what I would read: a capital "D", then about 3 other letters, then "ra", and then oddly enough two "mm" with a slight offest downwards.
>>
Don't know what that could be. I do have an "Diadem".

[/URL]

Can't see if "Orion" is on the paper label of the other "Orion". Unfortunately I can't get a better photo.

[/URL]

What is on the paper label doesn't always match what is on the Tip Patch, Liner or Sweatband and that doesn't apply to just Mayser.

"Di" could also be instead of "Df" (which doesn't work anyway), but the later "r" is definitely there. So maybe that will remain an eternal mystery.

On the other Orion: I can spot a capital "M" and maybe an "o" - so that doesn't read "Orion" either. I think they could have made their Quality-System a bit easier to grasp : D
 

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
I am pretty sure, the word between 'dunkel' und 'farb.' ist 'mode'. Doesn't sound like it makes sense at first, but who knows - the name for this kind of hat is also 'Modehut'...

By the way: This Mayser is a gemm, so congrats to you!
Indeed, I asked other people, and one of them told me, she thinks it's "mod." for "modischer". I answered the same: It could make sense because of the wording "Modehut" at the time. But then it would have to state "dunkler mod." instead of "dunkel". And even that would sound odd: dunkler modischer farbiger Haarhut.

And to do a little bit of graphology: The "m" is clear, but the following "o" doesn't appear anywhere else. In "Velour" down below the "o" is much different. Instead all the "a" from the same hand are open at the top, as is the letter behind the assumed "m". And compared to "farb." and "grün" it could also be an "r" - "mrde" or "mrd." / "made" or "mad." It's mysterious.

And by the way: What is "flachrund"? As I have come to know now "Orion" is not a shape, not a felt quality, not a question of features like lining. So, to be honest, we don't know anything about what this invoice is talking about : ) Only that hats of this name where produced in 1931. And that's great to know anyway.

Thank you, I'm really happy with this hat. Works great with heavy coats and fur. I can now understand, why people were willing to put some money on the table for such a hat!
 
Last edited:
Messages
16,683
Location
Maryland
Thank you, Steve, for the reminder: I've also read about insolvency, but didn't check till now,
what the situation looks like in the meantime. I will have to do that and also check what assortment they still have.

By the way: I recently noticed that a distant 'friend' of mine worked in the accounting department of the Altenburg hat factory from the 70s until its dissolution in the early 90s - I will have to interview him, too!

All the more exciting is your new Max Förster find: I've been looking for years, but they are extremely rare. Really great example, Steve!
Matt, Good to hear from you!

I couldn't find any recent information online. Look forward to your update.

Would be great to hear about the Altenburg Hat Factory from 1970s to early 1990s.

Thanks, it was total luck finding the Max Förster. :)
 
Messages
16,683
Location
Maryland
"Di" could also be instead of "Df" (which doesn't work anyway), but the later "r" is definitely there. So maybe that will remain an eternal mystery.

On the other Orion: I can spot a capital "M" and maybe an "o" - so that doesn't read "Orion" either. I think they could have made their Quality-System a bit easier to grasp : D
It's the same with other hat companies. I asked Mayser a long while ago if they have any information and that said they didn't have anything.
 

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
The hat, that I posted in the Borsalino-Thread, especially the remains of the label didn't ring any bell inside the Borsalino connoisseurs. So the label has obviously nothing to do with Borsalino. Steur said, the hatband seems to be something for replacement - exactly what I suspected. But as the sweatband is from Emil Kölle, Mannheim, chances are, this is a German hat. Of course now I am overly curios, what a hat this is. So let's give it a try:

There's only one thing, that is likely not modified on the hat: the center label.

HutwappenBorsalino1.JPG

Not much to see here. But a little bit: There are some remains of letters, a quotation mark and a garland of corn, going around like a standing ellipse.

Now the letters may be "ova", so it could be Casanova or Supernova, maybe "oba", so could be Cordoba or something.

To determine the size of the label, I fitted an ellipse onto the remains and completed the missing garland. Here's the result:

HutwappenBorsalino2.JPG

This helps accessing the length of the word written inside the label. Together with another quotation mark, there's only space left for one middle-wide capital letter. And if this word isn't some fantasy-composite-name, I guess the first thing one can think of is: "Nova". So I put it in:

HutwappenBorsalino3.JPG

It's obvious, that the lettering isn't placed in the middle, to give some space above. So let's place a logo there, a hat for example:

HutwappenBorsalino4.JPG

Of course the garland could also be symmetrical instead of revolving, so let's do that and place another lettering below, to get an idea, in how many ways the label could have been arranged originally:

HutwappenBorsalino5.JPG

The obvious question now is: Has anybody ever seen a label, that could be close to this graphical guess?
 
Messages
16,683
Location
Maryland
The hat, that I posted in the Borsalino-Thread, especially the remains of the label didn't ring any bell inside the Borsalino connoisseurs. So the label has obviously nothing to do with Borsalino. Steur said, the hatband seems to be something for replacement - exactly what I suspected. But as the sweatband is from Emil Kölle, Mannheim, chances are, this is a German hat. Of course now I am overly curios, what a hat this is. So let's give it a try:

There's only one thing, that is likely not modified on the hat: the center label.

View attachment 470380

Not much to see here. But a little bit: There are some remains of letters, a quotation mark and a garland of corn, going around like a standing ellipse.

Now the letters may be "ova", so it could be Casanova or Supernova, maybe "oba", so could be Cordoba or something.

To determine the size of the label, I fitted an ellipse onto the remains and completed the missing garland. Here's the result:

View attachment 470376

This helps accessing the length of the word written inside the label. Together with another quotation mark, there's only space left for one middle-wide capital letter. And if this word isn't some fantasy-composite-name, I guess the first thing one can think of is: "Nova". So I put it in:

View attachment 470377

It's obvious, that the lettering isn't placed in the middle, to give some space above. So let's place a logo there, a hat for example:

View attachment 470378

Of course the garland could also be symmetrical instead of revolving, so let's do that and place another lettering below, to get an idea, in how many ways the label could have been arranged originally:

View attachment 470379

The obvious question now is: Has anybody ever seen a label, that could be close to this graphical guess?
I looked at your post in the Borsalino thread and the stitched in label (this is very unusual) is similar to what I have in one of my A. Breiter München Der Hutmacher Am Dom Soft Felts which I also believe was modified. I am not sure who made the modification.

44790409861_8af3f831b2_b.jpg


Your hat.

460033-29b3d5a50f1784aa61a28140bf8b870f.jpg


This hat is not an Echter Borsalino. The pre WWII Echter Borsalino Sweatband was added later but could be from the same time period as the original hat. The Felt appears to be Wool or a mix Wool - Fur. Where was location of the seller? Please post the hat here when you have time.

 

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
I looked at your post in the Borsalino thread and the stitched in label (this is very unusual) is similar to what I have in one of my A. Breiter München Der Hutmacher Am Dom Soft Felts which I also believe was modified. I am not sure who made the modification.

44790409861_8af3f831b2_b.jpg


Your hat.

460033-29b3d5a50f1784aa61a28140bf8b870f.jpg


This hat is not an Echter Borsalino. The pre WWII Echter Borsalino Sweatband was added later but could be from the same time period as the original hat. The Felt appears to be Wool or a mix Wool - Fur. Where was location of the seller? Please post the hat here when you have time.

[/URL]
Now, my first question would be: There are many other stitches - is that the stitching of the hat band? If so, these handwritten labels were either inserted after replacing the hat band too (is that possible in the case of your hat? - in my case it could be, although I think it's the original one, because it's as dirty as the hat : ) ) or these are the labels of the "producer", maybe a small "private" hat maker in each case.

So you never saw such a garland-label? Then I would have to doubt that it's a German hat. Maybe I have to redo the question in the New Hats section, where other experts are looking at it.
 

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
I looked at your post in the Borsalino thread and the stitched in label (this is very unusual) is similar to what I have in one of my A. Breiter München Der Hutmacher Am Dom Soft Felts which I also believe was modified. I am not sure who made the modification.

44790409861_8af3f831b2_b.jpg


Your hat.

460033-29b3d5a50f1784aa61a28140bf8b870f.jpg


This hat is not an Echter Borsalino. The pre WWII Echter Borsalino Sweatband was added later but could be from the same time period as the original hat. The Felt appears to be Wool or a mix Wool - Fur. Where was location of the seller? Please post the hat here when you have time.

[/URL][/URL]
Sorry I forgot two things:

What makes you think this is wool or a wool-felt-mix? My impression is, that it's a high quality felt. Just like my pre-war Emerson fedora or my Lincoln Bennett. Although it's not stiffened. So if I press a sharp bend into the brim, it stays there. That is not the case with the Emerson (but that hat has a grosgrain-trimmed-edge) or the Bennett (which has a raw edge).

Sorry, I dond't remember where the hat came from. I should write these things down when buying. But we have Mannheim as the place of the sweat band installation.
 
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Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
To complete the label-serach above, here's the whole hat from the Borsalino section again:

I bought this hat last year. The Borsalino sweat band is made for the German market, hence "Echter Borsalino". As many point out, and as I guessed too, this sweat band is foreign to the hat.

The measurments: brim 6,4 (sides) to 6,7cm (front/back), crown 10,5 (to the dent), hat band 3cm, sweat band 5,3cm. The head opening is 20,3cm x 16,9cm so I think this is a 58 or 59? (so a bit too big for me) Color is grey with a slight cyan shade.

The crown had a clear downwards shift from front to back, as it's typical for late (american?) 1940s hats (like the right one here: https://clickamericana.com/wp-content/uploads/stetson-hats-for-men-and-women-1.jpg). I "fixed" that, because the crown clearly got wider from the brim to the top - so to get a vertical crown, the height could be increased, which I did (the height previous to my bashing can still be seen).

I add three pictures from the seller, so before my re-bashing.

IMG_0380.JPG IMG_0381.JPG IMG_0382.JPG IMG_0383.JPG IMG_0384.JPG IMG_0385.JPG IMG_0388.JPG Borsalino1.jpg Borsalino2.jpg Borsalino3.jpg
 
Messages
16,683
Location
Maryland
Now, my first question would be: There are many other stitches - is that the stitching of the hat band? If so, these handwritten labels were either inserted after replacing the hat band too (is that possible in the case of your hat? - in my case it could be, although I think it's the original one, because it's as dirty as the hat : ) ) or these are the labels of the "producer", maybe a small "private" hat maker in each case.

So you never saw such a garland-label? Then I would have to doubt that it's a German hat. Maybe I have to redo the question in the New Hats section, where other experts are looking at it.
The stitched in label is very unusual. That is why I remembered that I had something similar. Yes, the repair work is not of the highest quality.

Do you mean the Crown Tip Patch fragment? Nothing pops into my head but I can do some searching. Also if I can't find anything similar doesn't mean it's not of German origin.
 
Last edited:
Messages
16,683
Location
Maryland
Sorry I forgot two things:

What makes you think this is wool or a wool-felt-mix? My impression is, that it's a high quality felt. Just like my pre-war Emerson fedora or my Lincoln Bennett. Although it's not stiffened. So if I press a sharp bend into the brim, it stays there. That is not the case with the Emerson (but that hat has a grosgrain-trimmed-edge) or the Bennett (which has a raw edge).

Sorry, I dond't remember where the hat came from. I should write these things down when buying. But we have Mannheim as the place of the sweat band installation.
It just looked like it could be Wool or a Wool - Fur mix from the photos. If I had in hand I could make a better assessment.

There is nothing about the form and creasing that would rule out it being of German origin. The use of a Echter Borsalino Sweatband outside of Germany would very unusual.
 

Wangenheim

New in Town
Messages
47
It just looked like it could be Wool or a Wool - Fur mix from the photos. If I had in hand I could make a better assessment.

There is nothing about the form and creasing that would rule out it being of German origin. The use of a Echter Borsalino Sweatband outside of Germany would very unusual.
I'll make my photos outside in the future. Maybe my pictures lack light.
 

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