J. Hückel ´s Söhne "Flexible" "Seal Velour", measures 58cm, Crown Open 5 1/2 inches, Brim 2 1/4 inches, probably later 1930s. The Velour on this one is fantastic (molds like clay) and in perfect condition. The color is a Dark Chocolate Brown that absorbs all light so very difficult to photograph. This hat had a Crease Clip because you can see the deep crease is still present in the Crown. Also a very interesting liner that coordinates with the felt color. I couldn't locate a paper label but might be farther up into the crown. What is interesting is that I have J. Hückel ´s Söhne Promo Pocket Mirror from Huthase (from the same time period) with a similar style hat (Color, Form). I am very much looking forward to wearing this hat when cooler temperatures arrive.
Bob had to remove the liner and discovered some writing on the top and sides of the liner (also on the sweatband).
I decided to investigate and I received the following information from Florian Hardwig of TypeDraws.com History of Typography forum. Florian, Thank you for this great information!
>I am a collector of German and Austrian vintage hats. I have an old Melone/Bowler hat and the following writing was found on the back of the liner. I don’t see how the script could help with the dating. The first image includes a line saying “R. 1857”, but that doesn’t tell us much. The sign on the inside is more revealing: “H[einri]ch Klipper Offenbach, a.M.” is in Behrens-Schrift, a typeface that was first cast by the Rudhard’sche Gießerei in 1901. The sign can’t be any older than that. Behrens-Schrift was immensely popular in the first and second decade of the 20th century, but it’s impossible to rule out a later date.
>Do you think the 22 1/2 might be Zoll? That sounds plausible to me. I don’t know about hats in particular, but at least in some areas, Zoll remained a common unit until deep into the 20th century.
Also what about the single letter on the inside of the sweatband? No Fraktur, but rather a bold Antiqua with ball terminals, as it was common in the time and period, cf. this piece of fascia lettering from Heidelberg. It could be either a ‘J’ with a spur, or bifurcated base (as in a Tuscan), or simply a minuscule ‘r’. A wild guess: Would the manufacturer have felt the need to denote the right-hand (rechts) side?
>Do you have any idea why "Extra Quality" was used on the liner? In most cases you see "Extra Qualität" (see below). Could this be time specific? I assume the English spelling was chosen because it appears underneath the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.
Gärner Hüte Wien "Record" Manufactured by J. Heinr. Ita Wien, 59cm, Real Fur Felt probably 1930s or 1940s. I assume Gärner Hüte Wien is the same as Gärner Wien who also made their own hats. I have an earlier Gärner Wien Wool Stiff Felt. The paper label has a "U.F." which doesn't point to J. Heinr. Ita Wien so could be a Gärner Hüte Wien label. I couldn't find any company that matches those initials. The "F" could be Fabrik (Factory) but no guess yet regarding the "U". I really like form of this one and also the ribbon with + bow design.
Hch. Klipper Offenbach a. M. "Extra Quality" early 1900s. I posted this old German Stiff Felt a few months ago. I took a real liking to it but the ribbon was damaged so I decided to buy some Mokuba (Japan) Silk ribbon which turned out to be a good match. I contacted Bob at Black Sheep Hat Works (BSHW) and he graciously accepted to install the new ribbon / bow. Unfortunately when the Stiff Felt arrived at BSHW the box had been crushed and the Stiff Felt had major crown dents. Bob did a masterful job of fixing the dents, cleaning up the felt and installing the new ribbon / bow. The bow design matches the original so of the time period. A big Thank You to Bob!
This is the original damaged ribbon / bow that Bob replaced.
Shipping damage and Bob's repair of the crown dents.