This hat was made in the 1950s by the Champ Hat company. It is a high grade milan summer straw hat, with a bound brim, teardrop porkpie blocking and a nicely executed wide ribbon and bow. There is a satin liner tip and a leather sweatband. The sweatband isn’t in very good shape, but the rest of the hat is. These old high quality milans are hard to come by (lots of cheap milans back in the day), and sweatband replacement isn’t very hard or expensive.
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″