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The BORSALINO BROTHERHOOD

Messages
16,243
Location
Nederland
This size 7 thin ribbon is already on eBay. Great thin and dense felt that truly does mold like clay.
2 ¾” wide brim and the open crown is approximately 5 ½ inches.

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So, the question is is it a French Point/Punti size 7 or a US size 7…..
Fantastic hat, Brent and a cool find.

This was sold to me as NOS but from the seller’s photos it was clear the sweatband had been replaced. It’s a great hat with thin lightweight felt the is easily creased dry. The brim has a Cavanagh edge too. The brim is 2 ⅜” and the open crown is approximately 5 ¾ inches. Labels as a size 7 ⅜ or 59cm.

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Another beauty. Could be a Savoy model; same finishing and also felted edge.
GB borsalino fu lazzaro savoy_04.jpg
 

Beetle

New in Town
Messages
1
Hey everyone!
I have a Borsalino hat which I could do with some help with.
I found it at the bottom of a box in a charity shop
I have had to take out the lining and clean it as there was some mildew developing.
It has a code under the lining, does anyone know what it means please?
The hat needs some TLC I think as it’s a little misshapen.
Any info gratefully received, thanks!
 

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Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
Hey everyone!
I have a Borsalino hat which I could do with some help with.
I found it at the bottom of a box in a charity shop
I have had to take out the lining and clean it as there was some mildew developing.
It has a code under the lining, does anyone know what it means please?
The hat needs some TLC I think as it’s a little misshapen.
Any info gratefully received, thanks!


This is a fairly modern hat and looks identical to my current production Borsalinos. It’s a French Point/Punti size 5 ½ which is nominally a US size 7 ¼. It’s been my experience that these hats tend to run small.

Nice proportions and colors.
 

Steve1857

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,400
Location
Denmark
I came this close to buying a kilt two weeks ago when I was on the hunt for hats. I'm sure I'll regret it at some point, but I decided not to go for it.
Believe it or believe it not, but a kilt is on my bucket list to buy before I die list.

I think I, you, Stefan, and Brent @deadlyhandsome should just go for it.

I bet others on the FL would go for it, too :)
 
Messages
16,653
Location
Central California
I came this close to buying a kilt two weeks ago when I was on the hunt for hats. I'm sure I'll regret it at some point, but I decided not to go for it.

Believe it or believe it not, but a kilt is on my bucket list to buy before I die list.

I think I, you, Stefan, and Brent @deadlyhandsome should just go for it.

I bet others on the FL would go for it, too :)

Do you go traditional or do you go for a modern utility design?

894DB315-48F6-43A3-9B75-ADE4C81F1E3E.jpeg
4AAC7FBB-F147-4D1A-90D1-6AC8F7C1D1F5.jpeg
 
Messages
16,243
Location
Nederland
Here's something to chew a bit on. This is a discussion forum after all. I've been looking at some Borsalino bowlers lately, mainly because they do pop up here and there and because there are more older hats among these than we tend to see with fedoras. We have a fair approximation dating Borsalino hats with the label method, but I've been looking at the sweatband logos to see if these are also an indication of the age of the hats.
Here's a theory I would like to present to the brotherhood to be peer-reviewed ;)
This post came about with input from our resident Italian hat-expert, Daniele @Daniele Tanto.

So far I can distinguish three different sweatband logos, not counting the American market ones and the ones that were used for specialty felts, like nutria.

The oldest sweatband logo I think is the large more horizontal one without the “antica casa” emblem next to it (it is found separate on the sweatband).
bo1.jpg
bo4.jpg
bui7.jpg

old3.jpg



Next came the familiar logo, only smaller in size and with crisp, sharp lines.

bi6.jpg


This is the imprint on the other side of the sweatband of the same hat. Note the mention of the Societa Anonima, which was established in 1906. Also note the textured leather, which we tend to see on the early hats.
bi7.jpg


Finally they settled on the larger, angled logo with the emblem on the side.

borbo4.jpg
bol3.jpg



The company started using their logos and imprints in earnest in 1910 with the 1910 International Universal Exposition in Brussels. The familiar logos used on the liners are on display below in this print from the catalogue of this exposition.

036_resize.jpg


There are several caveats to be made. The bowler hat for social and economic reasons has never had great success in Italy, even if it has been borrowed in its uses, especially in politics since the early twentieth century with great development after the First World War. Add that in anti-English politics, especially in the 1930s, the bowler hat became synonymous with plutocratic bourgeois, therefore English or French. The regime wears pure fantasy military-style hats to show a fascist aesthetic.
Borsalino's marketing policy greatly affects the aesthetics of logos and brands. Basically as with the fedoras and other hats it was more or less up to the retailer to decide what the finishing of the hats should look like, including logos and quality designations. If that was also the case this early on is uncertain, but not unlikely. We know very well that some shops of great sales of their hats could boast of constructive peculiarities that other shops did not have.
Borsalino's policy also has always been to get the most out of any unfinished work, keeping those unsold items around for perhaps a later sell. Therefore hats that had been standing still for years for finishing were finished or dismantled to take on another position in marketing of the company. It happens that you have in your hands Borsalino hats made many years before and which arrived on the market with new linings and sweatbands to adapt them to the current market.
Often the finishes refer a lot to the time in which the hat was built, see for example one of the sweatbands with designs on the leather, or the linings put in an extremely artisanal way. Keep in mind that after the war the bowler hat in Italy is an old-fashioned hat and those built starting from the 1950s are simple and very spartan, unless they are intended for particular high-class shops that serve special customers. Another factor to be taken into due consideration is the pre and post second world war phase. The Borsalino factory had been almost totally converted to military production starting in 1940, then it was bombed and the scarcity of raw materials to build a hat in post-war Italy considerably reduced the number of hats built.
Identifying the logos as the age of construction can be a viable path, always keeping in mind Borsalino's ability to "reinvent" hats as needed. Last consideration: in Italy some individual hatters have built bowler hats for those customers who did not want or could afford or wait for Borsalino production.

Very few hats are actually dated and the sampling is thin. Also, it would be interesting to see a Borsalino made before 1910, just to see how those hats were marked.
What says the brotherhood?
 
Messages
16,243
Location
Nederland
A noble experiment worth exploring further. Interesting to see the sweatbands with fine crosshatch pattern - similar to certain (very durable and long lasting) Stetson Fray sweatbands from the early 20th century.

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Thanks, Alan. As I've learned it's a hypothesis (not a theory:)). All we need now is a ton of data to see if it holds any merit. Let's bring out the truckloads of old Borsalinos.
 

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