This vintage hat was made in the 1930s by the John B Stetson company from a high quality Equadorian Panama hat body and was sold by The Coop, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is blocked with an Optimo crown, and sports a backwoven brim edge. The 1930s Stetson size tag is heavily faded but reads 1/8, though it measures out to a size seven.
This hat was made in the early part of the 20th century, or possibly the late 1800s. I’ve never seen another hat with this super early John B. Stetson crest. It’s extremely old and unusual.
The hat is a very fine montecristi panama, see the detail picture with a penny for scale for an idea of just how fine. There are three breaks in the straw in the brim, at the back, but unlike the other early Stetson Montecristi, they don’t show very badly, especially when worn. The hat has a classic optimo blocking, and the brim is finely backwoven. THe sweatband has some of the finest stitching I’ve seen and is extremely wide. It is still nice and supple. The original owner’s initials, “ECA” are stamped opposite the Stetson logo.
Brim Width: 2-1/8″
Ribbon Width: 7/8″