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The BORSALINO BROTHERHOOD

Cuvier

New in Town
Messages
9
Location
Texas
howdy folks. I just wanted to get y'all's thoughts on this Borsalino Centurion I just picked up. I don't know a thing about them. I just liked the looks of it. The brim is thicker at the edge like it's been folded over and blended in. I don't know what that's called but it looks good. Felt is crazy soft but seems to want to hold a shape. No moth holes or really any kind of damage. The feathers were looking rough so I pulled them off.
I want to know more about this hat. I have nothing to go on. Any good resources?
 

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I don't normally repeat my hats in multiple threads on the same day, but Steve (@Steve1857 ) tells me this one is unusual. If there is discussion it should probably be here and not in the "Post New Hats Here" thread.

1936 - 1953 Borsalino top hat. I think it's late in that range with the purple stamped hat size on the label, but correct me if I'm wrong. It was sold out of a Caracas, Venezuela store.

I was hoping this would fit me, but it is closer to a true 7-3/8. The hat received some crush damage in shipping and that left some creases. I have not attempted to see if steaming would help -- not sure if it would on a stiff hat.

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Steve1857

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,425
Location
Denmark
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).
View attachment 482926 View attachment 482927 View attachment 482929
View attachment 482936


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

View attachment 482930

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.
View attachment 482931

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

View attachment 482935 View attachment 482934


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.

View attachment 482937

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?
Wonderful hypothesis, Stefan. As always, you're on to something.

Your history of paper labels will probably be more accurate until we see more pre 20's Borsalino sweatbands.

With regard to Borsalino Bowlers, it would seem the rebel cousins at Fu Lazzaro were more interested in those. I am lucky to have three of them.

My only circa late 1930s Alessandria Borsalino Bowler is this one. Hope it adds to the timeframe of sweatband logos.

20211123_164725.jpg 20230123_201833.jpg 20211123_164526.jpg 20230123_201818.jpg 8
 

Steve1857

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,425
Location
Denmark
I don't normally repeat my hats in multiple threads on the same day, but Steve (@Steve1857 ) tells me this one is unusual. If there is discussion it should probably be here and not in the "Post New Hats Here" thread.

1936 - 1953 Borsalino top hat. I think it's late in that range with the purple stamped hat size on the label, but correct me if I'm wrong. It was sold out of a Caracas, Venezuela store.

I was hoping this would fit me, but it is closer to a true 7-3/8. The hat received some crush damage in shipping and that left some creases. I have not attempted to see if steaming would help -- not sure if it would on a stiff hat.

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Again, never seen one like this before, Bob. The white leather sweat band always says to me, it's a top hat Top Hat. That is to to say: putting on my white tie, putting on my tails
 
Messages
16,662
Location
Central California
howdy folks. I just wanted to get y'all's thoughts on this Borsalino Centurion I just picked up. I don't know a thing about them. I just liked the looks of it. The brim is thicker at the edge like it's been folded over and blended in. I don't know what that's called but it looks good. Felt is crazy soft but seems to want to hold a shape. No moth holes or really any kind of damage. The feathers were looking rough so I pulled them off.
I want to know more about this hat. I have nothing to go on. Any good resources?


The Augusta line of hats that I’ve handled have all been well-made and had nice felt. The styling has always been divisive with those who like them and those who do not. A plus side of their styling, dimensions, and blocking is that they can often be found at good prices.

If the hat fits you, we would enjoy seeing photos of you wearing the hat.

Welcome the The Lounge!
 

Francesco1992

New in Town
Messages
18
Location
Lombardia
Hello dear experts and collectors!
I have a question for you all today. I have recently picked up this wonderful hat in a huge size 7, produced for the French market. It was sold by the “chapellerie Pons” in Lyon and it is wonderfully preserved. I have washed it, cleaned it, I sewed the ribbon who was falling down and I deeply cleaned the felt around the sweatband who was full of head grease and dirt; finally I have put it in shape and ironed it again.
The original internal Borsalino Logo label has fallen down or removed, so we cannot see which felt line characterised this hat: only the hat-maker label part is left.
The sweatband has a wonderful reddish colour and the hat in its complex is really really elegant.
The internal paper label says absolutely nothing apart from a number “7” indicating the hat size which is hand-written.
The brim of the hat cannot be folded because it does not make sense, and when I wear it, it looks very early-1900s.
Since the hat’s characteristics reminds me of an early one, I need your help to date it. I would say before 1920s but with so old dates I am always unsure.
Thank you in advance for your help and hope you will enjoy it, because I am doing very very much!
 

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Bill Hughes

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,992
Location
North Texas
Hello dear experts and collectors!
I have a question for you all today. I have recently picked up this wonderful hat in a huge size 7, produced for the French market. It was sold by the “chapellerie Pons” in Lyon and it is wonderfully preserved. I have washed it, cleaned it, I sewed the ribbon who was falling down and I deeply cleaned the felt around the sweatband who was full of head grease and dirt; finally I have put it in shape and ironed it again.
The original internal Borsalino Logo label has fallen down or removed, so we cannot see which felt line characterised this hat: only the hat-maker label part is left.
The sweatband has a wonderful reddish colour and the hat in its complex is really really elegant.
The internal paper label says absolutely nothing apart from a number “7” indicating the hat size which is hand-written.
The brim of the hat cannot be folded because it does not make sense, and when I wear it, it looks very early-1900s.
Since the hat’s characteristics reminds me of an early one, I need your help to date it. I would say before 1920s but with so old dates I am always not sure.
Thank you in advance for your help and hope you will enjoy it, because I am doing very very much!
Based on the paper label I’d say between 1920-36.
 
Messages
16,662
Location
Central California
Hello dear experts and collectors!
I have a question for you all today. I have recently picked up this wonderful hat in a huge size 7, produced for the French market. It was sold by the “chapellerie Pons” in Lyon and it is wonderfully preserved. I have washed it, cleaned it, I sewed the ribbon who was falling down and I deeply cleaned the felt around the sweatband who was full of head grease and dirt; finally I have put it in shape and ironed it again.
The original internal Borsalino Logo label has fallen down or removed, so we cannot see which felt line characterised this hat: only the hat-maker label part is left.
The sweatband has a wonderful reddish colour and the hat in its complex is really really elegant.
The internal paper label says absolutely nothing apart from a number “7” indicating the hat size which is hand-written.
The brim of the hat cannot be folded because it does not make sense, and when I wear it, it looks very early-1900s.
Since the hat’s characteristics reminds me of an early one, I need your help to date it. I would say before 1920s but with so old dates I am always unsure.
Thank you in advance for your help and hope you will enjoy it, because I am doing very very much!


The fist question is does it fit? If not…send me a PM ;)
There as a thread here on the Borsalinos with the celled labels:

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/borsalinos-with-celled-paper-labels.96832/
 
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Messages
16,271
Location
Nederland
howdy folks. I just wanted to get y'all's thoughts on this Borsalino Centurion I just picked up. I don't know a thing about them. I just liked the looks of it. The brim is thicker at the edge like it's been folded over and blended in. I don't know what that's called but it looks good. Felt is crazy soft but seems to want to hold a shape. No moth holes or really any kind of damage. The feathers were looking rough so I pulled them off.
I want to know more about this hat. I have nothing to go on. Any good resources?
The Augusta line of hats that I’ve handled have all been well-made and had nice felt. The styling has always been divisive with those who like them and those who do not. A plus side of their styling, dimensions, and blocking is that they can often be found at good prices.

If the hat fits you, we would enjoy seeing photos of you wearing the hat.

Welcome the The Lounge!
Welcome to the lounge. In addition to what Brent said about the hat, I can say that it is probably made between 1961 and 1972, judging by the label. The colour is called Sandalo and it's one of the many many browns by Borsalino. The c. Bulgaro refers to the colour of the ribbon. The brim edge that is folded over and blended in is known by many names by different brands, but generally referred to as a Cavanagh edge. Basically it is just that: a felted edge (quite a difficult process in manufacturing a brim edge). The Italians called it "feltrato" (felted) and it is not all that common on Borsalinos.
 
Messages
16,271
Location
Nederland
I don't normally repeat my hats in multiple threads on the same day, but Steve (@Steve1857 ) tells me this one is unusual. If there is discussion it should probably be here and not in the "Post New Hats Here" thread.

1936 - 1953 Borsalino top hat. I think it's late in that range with the purple stamped hat size on the label, but correct me if I'm wrong. It was sold out of a Caracas, Venezuela store.

I was hoping this would fit me, but it is closer to a true 7-3/8. The hat received some crush damage in shipping and that left some creases. I have not attempted to see if steaming would help -- not sure if it would on a stiff hat.

IMG-8024.JPG


IMG-8025.JPG


IMG-8026.JPG


IMG-8027.JPG


IMG-8028.JPG


IMG-8029.JPG


IMG-8030.JPG


IMG-8033.JPG


IMG-8032.JPG


IMG-8035.JPG
It is indeed a great find, Bob. We don't see Borsalino top hats often and the model name "cilindro" is one we've not seen before. Wonderful.
 
Messages
16,271
Location
Nederland
Wonderful hypothesis, Stefan. As always, you're on to something.

Your history of paper labels will probably be more accurate until we see more pre 20's Borsalino sweatbands.

With regard to Borsalino Bowlers, it would seem the rebel cousins at Fu Lazzaro were more interested in those. I am lucky to have three of them.

My only circa late 1930s Alessandria Borsalino Bowler is this one. Hope it adds to the timeframe of sweatband logos.

View attachment 483254 View attachment 483255 View attachment 483257 View attachment 483258 8
We have a lot more data on the labels, so that helps a quite a bit. Very early Borsalinos, say from the teens and twenties or even earlier, are few and far between and not everybody is willing to risk looking behind the sweatband for a label. If the sweatband logo is indeed a signifier, that would also help assessing hats that are on auction; sellers rarely include pics of the label. We'll see if this leads anywhere, but it's fun to muck around a bit with this.
 
Messages
16,271
Location
Nederland
Hello dear experts and collectors!
I have a question for you all today. I have recently picked up this wonderful hat in a huge size 7, produced for the French market. It was sold by the “chapellerie Pons” in Lyon and it is wonderfully preserved. I have washed it, cleaned it, I sewed the ribbon who was falling down and I deeply cleaned the felt around the sweatband who was full of head grease and dirt; finally I have put it in shape and ironed it again.
The original internal Borsalino Logo label has fallen down or removed, so we cannot see which felt line characterised this hat: only the hat-maker label part is left.
The sweatband has a wonderful reddish colour and the hat in its complex is really really elegant.
The internal paper label says absolutely nothing apart from a number “7” indicating the hat size which is hand-written.
The brim of the hat cannot be folded because it does not make sense, and when I wear it, it looks very early-1900s.
Since the hat’s characteristics reminds me of an early one, I need your help to date it. I would say before 1920s but with so old dates I am always unsure.
Thank you in advance for your help and hope you will enjoy it, because I am doing very very much!

Based on the paper label I’d say between 1920-36.

A well preserved and nicely recovered hat, Francesco. To narrow it down a bit more in it's time period: the celled labels come in a few varieties. This one is more elongated than the other type and points towards the later twenties until mid thirties.
 
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Again, never seen one like this before, Bob. The white leather sweat band always says to me, it's a top hat Top Hat. That is to to say: putting on my white tie, putting on my tails

It is indeed a great find, Bob. We don't see Borsalino top hats often and the model name "cilindro" is one we've not seen before. Wonderful.

Thanks Steve and Stefan!
 

65 Classic

Practically Family
Messages
582
Location
Sanford
Recently acquired. 1940s? None the less, a beautiful specimen of a traveling Borsalino. What is the translation for the words on the tag?
 

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Messages
16,271
Location
Nederland
Recently acquired. 1940s? None the less, a beautiful specimen of a traveling Borsalino. What is the translation for the words on the tag?
Good looking coffin box hat, although that box is not the usual triangular shaped box we tend to see for those hats. Not forties, but mid to late fifties. The first word on the label is the name for the colour. Amiata (lover) is a popular colour. The second word is the model name and it is one of the great remaining mysteries of Borsalino. If you can come up with a solution to that one we will all pitch in for a prize, I'm sure.:)
This model name is actually one I haven't seen before.
 

Cuvier

New in Town
Messages
9
Location
Texas
Welcome to the lounge. In addition to what Brent said about the hat, I can say that it is probably made between 1961 and 1972, judging by the label. The colour is called Sandalo and it's one of the many many browns by Borsalino. The c. Bulgaro refers to the colour of the ribbon. The brim edge that is folded over and blended in is known by many names by different brands, but generally referred to as a Cavanagh edge. Basically it is just that: a felted edge (quite a difficult process in manufacturing a brim edge). The Italians called it "feltrato" (felted) and it is not all that common on Borsalinos.
Thank you for all that info. It's great learning about my hat.
 

MikeinRome

One of the Regulars
Messages
199
Another orphaned Borsalino velour I just adopted from eBay. Nobody else was interested in bidding. Marque Grand Luxe 6X, color Lupo. The liner logo doesn't photograph well, but Marque Grand Luxe is printed at top of it. This is the first MGL I've seen with this liner, but I'm just a new collector. Has 2 inch brim. It's had some wear, but for a $100 minimum bid, it's far from being the worst $100 I've ever dropped.
 

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65 Classic

Practically Family
Messages
582
Location
Sanford
Good looking coffin box hat, although that box is not the usual triangular shaped box we tend to see for those hats. Not forties, but mid to late fifties. The first word on the label is the name for the colour. Amiata (lover) is a popular colour. The second word is the model name and it is one of the great remaining mysteries of Borsalino. If you can come up with a solution to that one we will all pitch in for a prize, I'm sure.:)
This model name is actually one I haven't seen before.
Thank you for the education :)
 
Messages
16,271
Location
Nederland
Another orphaned Borsalino velour I just adopted from eBay. Nobody else was interested in bidding. Marque Grand Luxe 6X, color Lupo. The liner logo doesn't photograph well, but Marque Grand Luxe is printed at top of it. This is the first MGL I've seen with this liner, but I'm just a new collector. Has 2 inch brim. It's had some wear, but for a $100 minimum bid, it's far from being the worst $100 I've ever dropped.
Cool find! I like the lupo colour and I have in fact one just like it. A bit earlier, but with this exact liner. Those MGL all have wonderful felt.
 

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