Q&A: Ignatius Hats and Home

What do you get when you mix two magically creative guys with a knack for making wearable art and a historically significant home in Petersburg, VA? One of the most interesting and beautiful homes that I have ever seen…that’s what! Meet Rod Givens and Ignatius Creegan of Ignatius Hats! The were gracious enough to have me over to explore their federal style home and even allowed me to try on a few of their fashionably forward hats (Fellas…the bird hat is a MUST HAVE!).

Q: What can you tell me about the history of your home?

Ignatius: The home was built in 1855. On April 3rd, 1865, the house served as General Grant’s headquarters, where President Lincoln met him here to discuss the end of the war. This was right after the end of the 9-month siege of Petersburg. Ten days later, Lincoln was assassinated.

Gorgeous antique chest, anchored by a mirror and architectural prints.

Q: Where do your beautiful antiques come from?

Rod: From all over the United States because we travel extensively throughout the year. We take our hats to about 10-12 shows a year. Some of the collection also came from my family.

A rare Empire style grandfather clock greets guests in the main foyer.

Q: What can you tell us about this fabulous clock in your foyer?

Rod: I’ve never seen another Empire style grandfather clock…it belonged to the previous homeowner and came with the house.

Amazing plaster work on this ceiling medallion, original to the house.

A marble bust sits on top of this empire style table. Pocket doors reveal the “hat room” in the background…

Q: How long have you been renovating your home?

Rod: Since we moved in, about 9 years ago.

I have no idea how a girl could choose from all these beautiful works of art…each one delicately crafted by hand! Maybe a different hat for each day of the week? Hmmm….

Q: What was the first antique hat that you brought home?

Ignatius: A blonde horsehair and straw hat from 1910, that came from Bygones (in Carytown). The horsehair allows the hat to be lightweight and stiff. It’s rare because most horsehair hats are usually black.

Original marble fire place found in the formal dining room…

A sweet petite chair sits to the right of the original china closet.

Taxidermy and fine art await you in the formal living room.

Q: Tell us about your favorite item in your home…

Rod:  I love paintings and I’ve been collecting them for quite sometime now. My favorite painting is from the 1920’s by an unknown artist that I purchased off of Ebay. Other paintings in our collection are artists such as Jack Lawrence and Martha Upshur.

Part of Rod’s antique toy collection is showcased on this petite antique french settee, located in the upstairs office.

An antique furniture cart is fashioned as a coffee table, here in the bright and spacious sitting room, just off of the kitchen.

Q: Describe your style in three words:

Rod: Elegant Hoarder

I am in LOVE with this creamy colored enamel ice box! No ice inside…as it now stores bread and other treats!

Q: How did you acquire your amazing antique hat form collection?

Ignatius: The first one was bought in New York in 1985, but some were also given to us. A little later, I bought a small collection from New York. The earliest hat forms we have are from the teens or 20’s.

This is just a peek at the extensive antique hat form collection of Ignatius Hats…each one a unique work of art!

Q: If people want to learn more about Ignatius Hats, where can they go for more information?

Ignatius: Our website at IgnatiusHats.com

“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…” I feel like Julie Andrews in this lovely Ignatius Hats original!! Isn’t it fabulous?

Got a great collection? Would you like to have your home featured on The Savvy Seeker? If so, contact me!

Copyright 2012. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

5 thoughts on “Q&A: Ignatius Hats and Home

  1. Hey, you look gorgeous in the birdie hat! Careful with their droppings, though!

    Thanks for such an interesting interview, Ignatius and Rod’s home is so interesting too, lots of fabulous things. My favourite are the ceiling medallion and the French settee.

  2. Wonderful post! Aren’t these guys great? I just got a fabulous top hat from them! I spent so much time just wondering around looking at all the beautiful things in their home! I’d love for you to come and explore my collections!

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