Friday, December 17, 2010

Booty: More Than A Hat

As the Holidays begin to build steam, I’ve one last suggestion for the Brethren on piratical gifting, and this one may be the best of all.

Anyone familiar with the work of artist Don Maitz is also familiar with the work of
Captain Jack, freebooting haberdasher extraordinaire. Maitz frequently uses Jack’s hats on his models when crafting his excellent paintings of pirates of the Golden Age. A good example is the painting at the header entitled “Pirates Abroad”. As you can see our lovely lass wears a very authentic tricorn fit for any corsair of the New World or Old.

It was through one of Mr. Maitz pirate calendars that I learned of Captain Jack and his hats. Being the daughter of a privateer that I am, I headed off to the site and was both surprised and pleased by the quality of workmanship, knowledgeable information and clear attention to detail Jack offers. There is a vast selection of styles to choose from, and Jack custom makes most of his offerings to your specifications. He offers the type of pride of craft that is sorely lacking in most goods today.

The hats are generally named after famous pirates and buccaneers. There’s the Henry Morgan, the Captain Kidd, the Blackbeard and so on. But Jack does not neglect the privateers of a later era. Imagine my delight when I found two hats of the early 19th century bicorn type named after gentlemen rovers with whom I am very well acquainted. That’s right: Jack offers both the Jean Laffite and its brother, the Pierre Laffite. Unfortunately, he misspells the name “Lafitte” but we’ll give the lad a break. Since when did the average Jack ever come off as much in the way of letters, after all?

Needless to say, I am the proud owner of a Jean Laffite made of black straw (the last thing you need down on the bayou is a felt hat, mates). Click my profile picture for a better look. Here is another version of the Jean Laffite, this one in felt with a jaunty rose embroidered on it, which is currently available for purchase at Captain Jack’s:
I very much encourage you to jump over and poke around Jack’s site. His amazing work is at least worth daydreaming over – or perhaps hinting to that special fellow crewman about. It’s more than a hat, Brethren; it’s an attitude.

And if you would like to peruse more of Don Maitz fabulous artwork, find him

Smooth sailing to you on this Friday. Spy ye tomorrow for Sailor Mouth Saturday.


Capt. John Swallow said...

Too right!
There's hats from "The Mackay" and then there's everything else! Authentic quality of workmanship at a fair price...

As it happens we also have a dark seagrass Laffite, as well as me trusty basic-black Tricorn & the QM's now heavily embellished "Barbossa".

Don Maitz makes some mighty fine Pyratical art (though I were unaware o' the connection to the hats, cheers)...along with Rick Reeves, Richard Becker, Gene Packwood & Mel Fisher - of course I'd have to toss in two of me all time favourites; Frank Frazetta & Boris Vallejo.

Pauline said...

Ahoy, Captain! Cannot agree more. These hats are the pinnacle of piratitude (all respect to the Pirate Guys on that one).

Now I'll feel particularly special in my Laffite! Another connection we all have. Would love to see SHB's Barbossa.

And oh the artists. I can't argue with that list by half. A mug o' grog to ya mate; bon vendredi!

Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! I merely have to echo the good Captain Swallow's comments. Hear, hear! And Huzzah for Captain Jack!