Sunday, December 16, 2018

Square-ended tie closeups

The problem with posting my "off the wall" tie pictures (taken while the ties are hanging on the outside wall of my work cubicle) is that you don't get a good idea of what the designs and patterns really look like close up. So this post is an attempt to remedy that for the ties shown in my previous post. This group of pictures shows close-up views of each tie. In at least a couple of cases, there are a couple of images for a particular tie. Getting these pictures to line up in decently arranged rows is incredibly tricky in Blogger.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

More Square-Ended Ties

Collection of square-ended ties
 These pictures show a major portion (though not quite all) of the REST of my collection of square-ended ties, besides the classic J.B. Ernst ones featured in my previous post back in September. Actually, starting from the right (that's the order in which I wore these ties to work), the first 5 ARE Ernst brand ties, then there are 3 Ernst "wannabe's" two more genuine Ernst, and one more Ernst imitation.

The Ernst ties shown here deserve some explanation. The three wide examples, one gold, one orange, with a plain brown example between them, are quite clearly ties from the decade of the 70's, wide, polyester, with big knots when tied. Since Ernest Beale sold his company in 1970, he almost certainly had nothing to do with the design of these ties. They probably represent an attempt to conform to the style of that era, and (in my view) a vain attempt to take the company in a new direction without the influence of Mr. Beale himself.

The tie on either side of the 3 wide 70's era monstrosities, are examples of Ernst ties with patterned fabrics, unlike the more typical horizontal stripes featured in my previous post. These may be Ernst's own designs, or not; I really have no way of knowing for sure.

The next 3 ties are what I assume to be a rival attempting to mimic the unique Ernst style.Then, 2 more Ernst, the first one patterned, and the last narrow, blue one, one of the VERY few ties I've ever seen with purely vertical, albeit, somewhat subtle stripes. I'm afraid they don't show up very good in the picture.

The rest of the ties are "just" other square-ended ties that I've found and acquired over the years. Some are classic 60's design. Others are woven, usually of wool or cotton blends. Some have interesting features, most of which are difficult to observe in these photos.  

 The first tie in this picture, for instance, starting again, from the right, silvery in color, has two red spiderish creatures depicted on it. Virtually impossible to pick out here. The next two ties, the first blue, and the second, plaid in shades of tan, both feature glitter in the fabric. Quite stylish!

There you have it. I've been wearing these ties to work ever since I previously posted the classic Ernst square-ended ties. Now the wall is full again, so it's time to take these down and start over. Between now and the end of the year, I'll be wearing my Christmas ties. Look for the next post showing those sometime early in January.

 The plain colored knit ties in this picture and the next one probably date from the 1980's, when knit square-ended ties had a resurgence. I even bought knit ties of this sort during that time period, but these are probably some that I picked up later, as they're slightly fancier than most, sometimes with linings sewn into the back of the ties.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

J.B. Ernst Square-Ended Ties

This picture shows my collection of J.B. Ernst square-ended striped ties. J.B. Ernst (aka Ernest J. Beale) flourished in San Francisco designing his unique ties from 1952-1970. I have been a fan ever since I stumbled upon my first Ernst tie in a Seattle thrift store back in the late 1970's. I wore that tie for years before I ever found any more, or learned anything about the designer. 
Wall of square-ended ties by J.B. Ernst

There is some information about Ernest Beall on a web page that I found, via Google of course. With lots of pictures. I wasn't really able to start my own collection in any serious way until the advent of eBay.

picture of several Ernst ties
 Also, my sister-in-law and her husband live in Santa Cruz, CA, and whenever I visit, I'm usually able to find a few Ernst ties in vintage clothing stores, or even in the local Goodwill. I found three that way this past summer. One in the Goodwill, for which I paid a mere $3.50, and two in a vintage clothing shop, for which I paid $7.00 each. On eBay they go for varying amounts. I haven't been buying many lately, as I probably have too many already.

Once in a blue moon, I find one in a thrift store in this area, but it's rare. They are much more common in Mr. Beale's original back yard, so to speak, near his original San Francisco locale.

picture of several Ernst ties closer up
So I wear a different tie to work each day, and (providing I don't forget), before I leave for the day, I remove the tie, and hang it on the outside of my cubicle wall. I keep on until the wall is full. I take pictures, and then take the ties home, and start over with another collection.

As a tie collector, I never run out of different ties to wear. The ties depicted here represent about half of my J.B. Ernst tie collection, but the other half are mostly more traditional with the standard pointed end, and the stripes run diagonally across the face of the tie, as is typical with most designers. The design of the stripes is often quite original, however, and the color combinations are sometimes unusual, although always very well thought out.

Picture of several Ernst ties closer up
These pictures don't really do full justice to the colors and patterns in these ties. I brightened up the shots somewhat with a photo editor, but many of them still look dull compared to the real thing. And others are too brightly colored. For example, the tie in the picture to the immediate left of this block of text, should be more red, than orange.

The green tie near the middle of this picture, is one of the ones I found this past summer; the one I picked up at the Santa Cruz Goodwill for $3.50. It features very fine, almost hairline stripes in various shades of green. It is one of only a few I have in this particular style, described in more detail on the page I linked to, titled Ernest Beall, Prince of Ties. Look for the picture with this description: "Some of my favorites are Ernst’s hairline-stripe ties with hundreds of different colors of thread."

Picture of several Ernst ties close up
The brightly colored tie in shades of blue and turquoise located on the right side of this picture is one of my favorites. It is fabricated from raw silk. Two more raw silk ties are found in the first closeup picture. The third in from the right, and the last one depicted in full length on the left side of the screen. Mr. Beall was not partial when it came to choice of fabrics. His ties feature various combinations including wool, cotton, polyester, and, of course, silk.

Picture of several Ernst ties close up
The widths vary a little, but the majority of the square-ended ties depicted here are about 1 & 3/4 inch in width at their widest point. The next picture down on the page depicts the widest and narrowest square-ended ties in my collection. The widest ones, one in a combination of turquoise and a spring green, the other orange, darker green, and pale blue, are about 3 1/8 inch in width. The narrowest one, in olive and brown, at the far right in the picture, is 1 & 1/8 inch wide.

The left-most tie in this picture, in dark green and orange, is the original Ernst tie that I owned and wore.

Picture of several more Ernst ties close up
So I realize it's been several years since I posted any pictures here on my vintage tie blog. I'm thinking I'll post more of my cubicle wall shots in future, as I find the time. Maybe more will show up once I get around to retiring from my full-time job. We'll see. I hope you enjoy!
Picture of several additional Ernst ties

Picture of several more Ernst ties close up

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Vintage Tie: Boxes with Feet

This is certainly an interesting tie! Splattered down the face of the tie flow a sprinkling of little tiny boxes, or squares, in a winding, curving path, kind of like a stream, or mayhap the Milky Way.

But that's not the most interesting part. Some of these little shapes have been captured inside larger squares, and these squares appear to have dancing feet on them. Very odd, indeed!

The tie also has one of those wonderful brocades woven into the fabric. Probably not very visible on the scan, unfortunately. The brocade takes the form of branching, curving vines with elaborate leaves growing on them.

The tie has two labels. The manufacturer's label reads:

Made in U.S.A.

The seller's label is a bit hard to decipher, using an elaborate cursive font, but it appears to say:

Williamsport, Pa.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


This lovely tie sports a series of geometric designs on top of a very deep navy blue background. It's so dark that it's difficult to determine if it's black vs. blue, but under a bright light, it appears to me more navy than black.

The design comes in three distinct groupings. From the top down, first we get a series of red rectangles, each of which has a smaller black rectangle embedded inside it. These alternate in a checkerboard pattern with squares that are filled in with short lines running at a 45 degree angle to the up and down of the tie.

The second section of the tie is just filled in with 45 degree angle lines in rows, running in opposing directions in each subsequent row, creating a zigzag pattern.

Finally, nearest the bottom we have white rectangles on the navy background. Each white rectangle has a tiny rectangle the same color as the background bitten out of the right face, just above the bottom face.

So essentially, lots of nice regularly spaced geometric patterns, but because of the variations between sections of the tie, creating an overall impression of freedom within organized constraints.

The tie has two labels, visible if not entirely legible, in the scan. The manufacturer's label reads

Reg, U.S. Pat. Off.

The seller's label reads:

Since 1891
Tiftonville, Tenn.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Circles and Rings

Here's a gorgeous 1940's exemplar, replete with a beautiful brocade, woven into the fabric. The brocade pattern is more visible on the secondary portions of the tie, the small end, and the other part that is folded back.

The pattern on the tie itself could be described as a combination of circles and rings against a rich brick brown color with sparse white polka dots.

The tie has no labels to transcribe, so there you have it, in a nutshell. Until next time, enjoy!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Blue with Red and White Geometrics

It's hard to believe I last posted a new tie back in September. I've been way too busy during the Christmas season to even think about scanning and posting any ties, but September? That's many moons ago. Oh well. We do what we can.

Here's another fairly ordinary workaday tie from the forties. Solid navy blue background with red diamonds in a diamond shaped pattern, plus more diamonds outlined in white. The fabric is silk, according to the label (visible in the scan), but the tie has no fancy brocade imbedded in the fabric. No, what you see is pretty much what you get.

I have more ties to post, so I hope I can find time to do so a little more regularly this year, but only time will tell.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to anyone reading this blog! And to anyone who enjoys collecting and/or wearing ties.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Green Geometrics

Here's a fairly ordinary forties era tie from my collection. 100% silk fabric (according to a label), but other than that, not very fancy or special. Why do I say that? Because the fabric is fairly thin, and has no brocade patterns woven into it. This was probably a fairly inexpensive tie in its day.

The tie has two labels, which in this case (somewhat unusually) are sewn into the back of the large end of the tie, rather than the small end, which is more common.

One label reads:

The Men's Store
Carson Pirie
Scott & Co.

The other label simply reads "All Silk"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Red and Gray Scenery

Here's a nice tie that may have originally been a bit wider than it is now. When you look at the point of the large end, you can see how off-center it is. And if you could see the back side, you'd notice that it is folded almost all the way across the entire back side at the base. I'm fairly sure that someone refolded it, and ironed in new creases at some point. Probably in the early fifties, as tie widths started to narrow again.

The design is somewhat unusual, as it seems to consist of several different and separate sets of scenery. The one just up a bit from the point appears to depict tree trunks, and foliage. The next one, up in the middle of the tie, appears to show a body of water, perhaps, although what the gray splotches are supposed to be, I'm not quite sure.

The tie also has a brocade polka-dot pattern, with circles of various sizes scattered about. You can see them most clearly in the solid red areas.

The tie boasts two labels, shown on the small end of the tie, which read as follows:
Miller's Men's Shop
Santa Monica, Calif.
De Luxe
Made in California

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Abstract in Shades of Brown

Here's a nice abstract design in shades of brown, white, and rusty red. The red doesn't show very clearly in the scan. The fabric has a brocade pattern with geometric shapes. Again, the brocade isn't very visible in the scan.

The tie has two labels, shown in the scan. The seller's label reads:

Kelleher & Browne
716 Market St.
San Francisco, Calif.

The maker's label reads:

of California.

I really need to get my act together, and post ties on a more regular basis, as I have quite a few more in my collection to display.