This is a recent find, from a flea market in Barcelona. The brand is Super Boreal, and it was sold by W. Kaufmann of Baden, Switzerland. Its dimensions and features are strongly indicative of a 1920s or 1930s date. There is a page from a magazine dated 1948 in the back of the sweatband to reduce the size, but this will have been placed there in 1948, and long after the hat was purchased, possibly when the hat was passed down to a young family member.
I like returning the hats I find to the original creases. Typically this is easy to achieve by lightly creasing the crown and seeing which creases the hat naturally forms. In this case the original owner was a bit of a fancy pants, putting in an S-shaped crease, a slight variation on the standard centre crease, with no side dents.
The page folded up behind the sweatband, from Illustrierte Rundschau, is dated 9 October 1948, giving 66 years as the youngest possible age of the hat, though it’s probably much older.
It fits slightly bigger than the stated 55cm, so just right for my head. Here it is in action a couple days afterwards hunting through a pile of old ties at the sadly sanitised and commercialised Els Encants Vells, Barcelona’s most famous flea market. It’s no longer the haven for vintage pickers that it used to be …