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OFFer Rare 1920s Men’s Skimmer or Boater By Famous Signed-Baseball Col Cheap Outlet Stores

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Rare 1920s Men’s Skimmer or Boater By Famous Signed-Baseball Col
Rare 1920s Men’s Skimmer or Boater By Famous Signed-Baseball Col

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Rare and historic: Truly Warner hats are more collectible than most vintage styles and for more reasons than most. This is an exceptional example that will delight collectors and curators alike. While many men’s boater or skimmer-styled hats were made during this timeline, Truly Warner straws have a history that resonates with those interested in both baseball history as well as fashion history. This hat dates to about 1927 and is certainly museum-worthy.

Truly Warner’s unique name was originally Albert J. Warner. In business, the hatter signed his correspondence so that it appeared as though he was writing, “Yours, Truly Warner” when in fact, the actual signature read, “Yours Truly, Warner. According to an article in The New York Times, Warner legally changed his name and design label early on to create his unique brand during the year1902. When the documents were signed off on legally, the judge declared in court and for the record, “That man is making a damn fool of himself.”

Fast forward and Truly Warner’s name was as famous and demanded respect. Articles and advertisements appeared in print in The New York Times, and even The New Yorker featured an article about Truly Warner and his incredible showmanship when it came to displaying and selling men’s hats. Warner used catchy phrases like “Hatter to Mr. Goodresser” and even named his hat styles based on his own interpretations of men’s moods. There were stye names like “It’s a Daisy”, “Just Brown”, and he even had a display shelf dedicated to the style he coined “The Hereafter.” This specific hat design was mounted against a brilliant blood-red velvet background with flashing lights tucked into the exotic drapery suggesting that The Hereafter felted fedora was truly rather devilish.

Truly Warner’s creative window displays, print advertising, and his skillful branding that featured famous baseball sports heroes sold hats. In fact, Warner sold so many hats that trade journals recorded his sales to exceed about million per month from the 54 stores dedicated to the Truly Warner brand.

Truly Warner was also a famous baseball fan and one of the first to market his brand by using that sports connection. In 1927, when Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run, a fan managed to retrieve the ball, had it signed and dated by Ruth, and then promptly sold the ball to Truly Warner for 0 which was more than most weekly salaries at the time. Later, this ball was showcased alongside another ball that Warner paid 0 for during a time. That baseball was signed by Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Kenesaw Landis, John Heydler, and not to forget to mention Presidents Harding and Coolidge. The two balls went into Warner’s hat display window on 42nd Street in NYC creating a PR event that drew thousands. Later, The Babe’s 60th home run ball was donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame (see photographs attached), whereas the other ball was sold at auction in 2012 for .500.

This snappy Roaring Twenties straw hat, in the skimmer or boater style, would have been sold through one of Truly Warner’s hat stores sometime around or slightly before 1927; about the time when Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run. This date is based on the art deco styled logo found on the silk ribbon on the inside of the hat. It comes from a Virginia estate.

NOTE: Please continue to read this description through to the end and be sure to check out my credentials as an Accredited Appraiser with the International Society of Appraisers for confidence in my work and research.

CONDITION: I am rating this hat at excellent condition considering age. It is borderline excellent due to the issues with the repaired inner leather sweatband as well as slight discoloration to the interior silk lining. The outer side of the hat is in superb, excellent condition without any doubt.

Typically, straw hats are found with the edges chipped or broken, and this is in superb condition, as stated, excellent without damage. The hand woven straw is striking in detail and design. There are no cracks and the hat is overall strong. The straw still has body so that it doesn’t feel fragile after about one century in time. 

The crown is encircled with a brilliant red rayon hat band and finished with a boxy bow. Rayon was one of the most favored fabrics used in the 1920s for both men and women’s clothing and accessories. The band is bright and without stains.

The interior leather sweatband is supple but has been repaired and part of it was sewn back into place rather crudely but so very long ago, likely by the original owner. The straw boater was obviously well loved and treasured. The leather band is stamped with the words, “Personally designed by Truly Warner.” These words also help to identify the hat’s date because only a few years earlier, Warner sued another large hat-maker claiming that his company was directly copying Warner’s designs (ref: The New York Times, 1922).

The original black paper Truly Warner sizing label remains intact and reads “7 1/8” with the TW logo initials printed in teal. The hat is sized accurately at men’s 7 1/8 or 22 1/4” or 57 cm. As a sizing example, I wear a 22” in women’s and this hat is too roomy for wear for me as even the slightest movement would easily knock it off my head.

And, that said, please note that a hard knock of any kind could prove disastrous for such a historic hat as the straw could easily be damaged now just as it would have been a century ago.

Therefore, this hat hopefully destined into a discerning collection. It is a hat that will be eye-catching and absolutely appealing for exhibit.

Please, if you have any questions prior to purchase, I will be happy to work with you. I do not take returns but will spend any amount of time to help find your answers.





—————-Thank you!

Please Note: All items in the inventory here at The Gilded Griffin are stored in archival museum storage away from the general public; pristine, and germ-free. We take your health as well as clothing and textile conservation seriously!

All measurements are considered approximate. Alterations may be necessary if you plan on wearing any of these historical pieces. Most importantly, if you have any concerns about sizing or durability for wear, please contact me so that I may advise you!

I work with clients daily in such matters including collectors, museum curators, as well as those in the arts, movie, and theatre industries. I will be very happy to assist in your decisions and your personal information will be kept confidential. If you would like to know more about my education and areas of expertise, please Google www.juliahenriappraiser.com. All images copyright 2021 JHenri.

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OFFer Rare 1920s Men’s Skimmer or Boater By Famous Signed-Baseball Col Cheap Outlet Stores

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