Sunday, December 31, 2006

Flower Starburst

This is the other tie most recently added to my collection, purchased from the second-hand store in Seaside back in the last week of November. I had originally planned to post it last week, but then remembered that I had for months been planning to post the wintery tree in honor of the Winter Solstice, instead.

Not to mention that this tie seems especially appropriate for posting on New Year's Eve, as the stylized floral "starburst" pattern, as I'm calling it, does resemble a burst of fireworks, at least a little.

I'm not sure that the scan does the true color of the tie justice, at least not exactly. To my eye, the real color is just a bit more "peachy" and less orange than it appears on the screen.

I've posted a second, full length shot, taken with my digital camera, to help you gain the full effect of the tie. You'll notice how the color and pattern abruptly changes to the darker orange with the polka-dots so as to insure that the knot would be tied in that color, contrasting with the rest of the tie.

Beyond that, I can't really think of much to say about the tie. No labels have survived to transcribe. The tie has no brocade woven into the fabric itself, but relies on its warm colors and vibrantly dramatic design for its stunning effect. A very nice tie, indeed! Especially since it only cost me $2.00!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Winter Solstice

Well, I lied. Last week, that is, when I promised that this week I would post the second of the two recent acquisitions to my collection. But I had forgotten that this week brought us the Winter Solstice, the longest day of the year, and that I had mentally promised myself that I would post this wintery beauty in recognition of that event. So my other new acquisition will have to wait for next week.

I have to confess that I have never understood why the first day of winter is also the shortest day of the year. And that the days will be getting longer from here on out, and the sun will be spending more time in the sky each day, with the weather presumably getting warmer. It seems like the winter solstice should come smack dab in the middle of winter, not at its beginning. Oh well, I'm not the one who makes these kinds of decisions, obviously.

I have seen pictures of this tie elsewhere, but can't recall just where right now. Ah yes, here's one place. Which is a page on Knot, Kollectors of Nasty Old Ties. Anyway, it's definitely a favorite. The tie's one label reads:
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Blue and Yellow "newbie"

This tie, along with another (to go up next week) is the latest addition to my collection. While on the "vacation from hell" a couple of weeks ago (my wife and I both came down with the stomach flu), we managed to visit one junk store--oops, make that a second-hand store (we always refer to them as junk stores) in Seaside, down on the Oregon coast.

This tie, and its companion were tagged at $4.00 each, a real bargain, but not only that, they had pink tags, and all pink tags were half price that day, so I actually only paid $2.00 apiece for them. They're undoubtedly worth much more than that. If the prices at vintage clothing sites such as RustyZipper are any indication, they are easily worth $15-$20 each, possibly more.

Blue and yellow together aren't my favorite color combination, but it is nevertheless a nicely designed tie, much more interesting than plain old stripes would be. Note the stylized leaf-shape brocade pattern woven into the fabric, or could those perhaps be incipient paisleys? Nah, I don't think so. Most of them aren't twisted enough at the end for paisleys.

I've also loaded a full length image of the tie, so that you can see how the pattern progresses up the tie, and notice the abrupt line where the yellow comes back. As with so many ofther ties I've posted, the knot is intended to be entirely in the yellow color.

The tie has two labels, both a seller's label and a manufacturer's label. The latter is so interesting that I decided to scan and load a picture of it as well. There are three cockaded and booted gentlemen resembling the Three Musketeers of Alexandre Dumas fame. Each has a capital letter "W" emblazoned on his lower half. An early example of "WWW!" It almost looks like the three are drummers, and that the "W's" are written on the drums, with each fellow rapping out a drum roll, but I can't make out quite enough detail to be sure of just where their arms are placed.

The label reads:
All Silk
Pure Dye
Wilson Brothers
Made in U.S.A.
The seller's label reads
Seaside, Ore.
Based on that label, this tie never made it very far from its original point of sale, as Seaside is where I picked it up, well over half a century after its presumed original date of sale.

A fine addition to my collection! And a lucky find, to boot.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blue and Gray, Black and White

Here's another vintage beauty, this time with a color scheme featuring blue, gray, black and white. Still a suitably wintery palette. The swirling, branching patterns woven into the fabric itself are almost more dramatic than the tie's own pattern.

This is another of those ties in which the knot was intended to be tied with its own different but coordinating pattern. I've loaded a separate image of the upper portion of the tie, showing the abrupt break in the pattern where the knot would have been tied.

The tie has one label which reads:
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Navy Blue Op Art (sort of) Design

It's time, regretfully, to move away from all of those wonderful autumn leaves, as winter has definitely arrived, at least here in the great Pacific Northwest. We were on the road, down in the Willamette Valley, west of Portland, where we received several inches of beautiful snow on Monday and Tuesday last week.

While we were away, they had ice and snow here in the Olympia, Washington area. On Monday, initially only five (5!) people managed to make it in to work at the State Library, or so I heard tell when I got back.

The ice was long gone by the time we returned, but the cold weather lingers. So, here's a tie that seems more appropriate to winter weather, it's pattern perhaps suggesting streaks of rain and wind, if you wish to let your imagination flow in that direction.

The "crop circle" like images you see near the base of the tie, and a few inches higher, are actually the brocade, woven directly into the fabric. As are the slightly curved, more or less horizontal parallel lines you can see nearer the top of the image, some sweeping over the dark triangle, and some just higher up, curving in the opposite direction.

I decided to scan and mount a picture of a portion of the backside of the tie. Interestingly, in this case, the pattern of navy blue lines from the front is not carried over onto the back, which gives a better opportunity for viewing the interesting patterns woven into the fabric.

The tie has a single label, sewn into the small end, which reads:
Paterson, N.J.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Purple and hand painted but faded

I quickly loaded this image this past Sunday, but didn't have time then to write any commentary, as my wife and I were leaving on a road trip from which we only just now (Thursday afternoon) returned.

Since then, I came back and loaded a different version of the image, on which I applied less color balancing. I think the painting is slightly easier to see in this version.

This tie is somewhat similar to the much nicer specimen I posted last week, sharing a purple background, and hand painted image featuring leaves. However, the paint has faded over the years, and the image is barely discernible these days.

My best guess is that the leaves are grape leaves, as there appears to be a gnarly old grapevine stem extending below the small leaf at the lower left, and running up into the third leaf from the bottom.

So are the three globes supposed to be grapes? That is possible, I suppose, but they seem large in comparison to the leaves, and grapes usually appear in bunches, not singles. Not to mention that the two barefly visible leaves placed highest on the tie are a different shape altogether than those further down on the tie.

So the intended subject matter remains ambiguous, at least in my view. The tie preserves only a faded remnant of the glory it presumably once had. There is one label, sewed into the large end of the tie which, strangely, is sewed right across the middle of the label, making it difficult to read. I read it as follows:
Exclusive creation
by Rapsons
Dry clean only

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number Eight

This beauty really IS hand painted. You can actually see AND feel the texture of the paint on the fabric, or you could, if you were me, and you were holding the tie in your hand.

The tie's label confirms it, although you can't prove it by the scan, because the label has, over time, folded itself upside down, and I didn't notice when I scanned it. I would have turned it over otherwise, but now that the scan is completed, and the image adjusted and resized for the web and all, I'm not going to redo the scan just because of that. So you'll have to take my word for it.

The tie's one and only extant label reads, and I quote:
of California
Hand Painted
The term "hand painted" is used more loosely these days. I recently bought a modern tie featuring the Seattle Space Needle on eBay. You may be able to see it still, searching by its item no: 130044997222. This tie's label says that it's "hand painted" but it very clearly is NOT. The label apparently means that the design itself was painted by an artist by hand (how else would someone normally paint a picture, than by hand?). But the design is clearly printed on the tie for mass production.

I'm not complaining mind you; it's a beautiful tie, and I'm delighted to have it, since one of my other collections is Seattle Space Needle kitsch, and this tie fits both categories: ties and Space Needle. But it's NOT hand painted, not in the traditional sense of someone sitting down with this very tie in hand, and painting directly onto its surface, the way today's autumn leaves tie is.

This tie that I've posted today is very reminiscent of one that my father had, but which did not survive the fire that burnt the old farmhouse I grew up in. That was in the spring of 1971. Dad's tie was purple, like this, with hand painted leaves, like this one, but it's been so many years since it was destroyed that I honestly don't recall how close in resemblance the leaves actually were. Still, I was delighted to find this tie, since it is reminiscent of the one that was lost.

I apologize for cutting off the pointed end of the tie in my scan. The image loses some of its grace, and "tie-ness," by not having the traditional pointed end completely present, but I just HAD to get all of the painted leaves on, and given the size of my scanner bed, that meant I had to move the tie down a bit, so that some of the end was off the scanner bed, in order to insure that all of the hand painted art was included in the scan.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number Seven

This used to be one of my all time favorite autumn leaf ties, and still would be, if I hadn't ruined it. Accidentally, but even so . . .

I can't even remember what I was trying to do; I might have been preparing a display of my ties, or something, but I was cutting something, maybe a paper background, with the tie on top of it, or very nearby, I just don't recall. Carelessly, I cut about 3/4 of an inch into the tie itself. I've been kicking myself ever since.

You can't really tell in the picture. The cut begins on the left side, just about even with the top of the first dark blue square nearest the bottom of the tie. You can see kind of a little jog in the edge of the tie where the cut begins. You can't see it, but the cut extends almost all the way in to where the dark blue square begins. It stops short about one and a half of those little grid marks short of the dark blue.

VERY ANNOYING! And there doesn't seem to be any easy or safe way to fix it. So I don't wear the tie any more, but I still love the design. That wonderful close-hatched grid of lines across the entire surface of the tie, which appear to be hand drawn--that is, the original design would have been hand-drawn, I would imagine, not the design on the fabric of each individual tie. (That last is an incomplete sentence, but I don't care.) And of course, the leaves themselves, bright red, close-set inside the white diamond shape to make them stand out, then surrounded by the deep blue square, all together creating a rich and dramatic feeling.

You'll note the solid red portion near the top of the tie in the full length image I shot with my digital camera. This is another of those ties in which the knot appears in a complimentary color. That's the purpose of the solid change in color, to make the knot appear red.

Of course, they wore their ties much shorter back in the forties than we do today. To make this tie long enough to reach my belt buckle, the modern requirement, I have to tie it with the small end really short, and the solid red end extends several inches below the knot. Unfortunate, but that's the way it is. Moot point, since I can't wear the tie any more. But it's still worth showing off here.

The tie is also one of those high quality models which includes a pattern woven into the fabric itself, what I refer to--rightly or wrongly--as a brocade. It's difficult to see in the pictures here, but it's most visible near the bottom of the short end of the tie, where you can see another diamond shape, almost exactly the same size as the white diamond surrounding the red leaf, but just below it, located between the blue square and the slash of red across the bottom of the tie.

There are four smaller diamond shapes, themselves arranged into a diamond square, in the center of each of these brocade diamonds. In the example I refer to above, you can see them hinted at as slightly darker blobs in the middle of the larger diamond.

The tie has two labels, both sewn into the back of the large end of the tie. The seller's label reads
Fairbanks, Alaska
while the maker's label states
Made in California

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number Six

The leaves on this beauty are somewhat more restrained than on some of the previous entries. Just three of them, one in each panel. They appear to be oak leaves. The ones on the yellow panels are half red, half white, in a pattern reminiscent of a harlequin costume.

The one on the red background is half yellow, and half white, the same color as the scalloped designs running up the right side of each of the three panels, although it is difficult to see the color difference on such a small leaf, even on the original tie. I've posted a closeup of one of the leaves, to make it easier to see.

The fabric of the tie contains a beautifully visible brocade pattern of leaves and vines, although they are not necessarily autumn leaves. One could argue, I suppose, that this is not an autumn tie at all, and perhaps I am guilty of excessive association, putting almost all of my ties that depict leaves into the autumn category. Your comments are welcomed.

At any rate, this is a spectacularly gorgeous tie any way you look at it, in my humble opinion. There are two labels to transcribe. One, attached to the inside of the wide end, has in large letters:
and in smaller type, on a separate line:
The other label, sewed directly onto the fabric of the small end, reads as follows:
Resilient construction
Towncraft Deluxe Cravat
Fabric Loomed in U.S.A.
I've separately scanned and loaded a picture of the labels for your edification. These labels are somewhat unusual, in that normally when two labels are present, one represents the manufacturer, and one the seller. In this case, it's not clear to me if the ARCO ROYAL label represents a seller or not. There is no location listed, as a seller label usually has. "Towncraft" is, of course, the well-known JC Penney men's apparel brand name.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number Five

Well, I missed getting a tie uploaded last week. On Sunday, the day I normally post to the blog, I was en route to a week-long leadership seminar, and I had no opportunity to scan, photograph or post a tie. I had hoped I might get it done a day early on Saturday, but there were just too many other things I had to attend to that day, so it didn't happen.

I considered loading two ties today, and backdating one to last Sunday, but eventually decided against it. So I missed a week. Big deal! I'm sure the world will survive. There aren't more than a handful of people checking this blog on a regular basis, and I don't flatter myself to think that any of them will suffer too much from enduring a week without a new tie here.

So, this week's tie might well be described as the ultimate in depiction of autumn leaves. An endless procession of leaves, small in the distance, and growing steadily larger as they progress toward the bottom of the tie, brightly colored in orange and yellow--what more could one ask for in depicting the vibrant colors of the fall season?

Certainly this tie could easily symbolize the current state of affairs in our yard! I raked the leaves in our small back yard this afternoon, and they made quite an enormous pile. We've had some good stiff wind the past few days, and the several large maple trees in the vicinity are shedding at a furious rate, albeit with many more leaves yet to come down.

This tie is a relatively recent acquisition. It is one that my wife found somewhere, if I recall correctly. It has no extant labels to transcribe. There is also no brocade pattern woven into the fabric. What you see is what you get.

The second picture shows the entire length of the tie, which gives a better perspective of the diminishing size of the leaves as you travel up the tie. The scanned image, shown first, provides a better appreciation of the tie at its widest point, nearer the end.

As a postscript, I received notice this week that my blog has been linked by the Collectible in the area of Men's Vintage Clothing & Accessories. Certainly I appreciate the link!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number Four

Here's another example of autumn leaves in autumn colors, more or less. The background is a deep dark brown, while the leaves themselves are in shades of gold and silver. Kind of like that verse from Proverbs I cited on a previous entry.

I'm going to have to upload at least 2, maybe three images of this tie in order to do it justice. That's because when I shot it with my digital camera, the glare was so awful that the color varied drastically from side to side, and many of the leaves and portions of the background appeared drastically washed out.

So I reverted to my scanner. But this tie had two elements, both of which need to be shown, and only one of which at a time fit on the scanner bed. So the first image shows the primary lower portion of the tie; the second image shows the higher up portion as it approaches the place where the knot would be, and the third image, from the digital camera, puts it all together so you can see how the tie looks when tied. But trust the two scanned images for the color and detail.

Not (or should that be "knot") to mention that this tie also has a lovely brocade pattern woven into the background of the tie. You may actually find the brocade pattern easier to view on the digital camera image, where the flash and glare do contribute to making the pattern more visible.

How to describe it? You could almost say that it is made up of a series of necktie shapes, laid out next to each other in a curving row, with little triangles between. Or you might say (given the time of year) that they resemble a jack'0'lantern's toothy smile. They are intriguing and give the tie an additional flare, whatever you might think they look like.

This tie has a manufacturer or designer's label, which has the words
ARTcraft Creations
placed inside an artist's pallette, and the words
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.
below. You can see the label on the second scanned image. All in all, a very nice tie, albeit just a bit worn, and losing some of its original resiliency.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Silvery Gray Leaves on Burgundy

Not all ties sporting autumn leaves have to necessarily show traditional autumn colors. Several of my vintage ties featuring leaves are in other kinds of color combinations, such as this one, with gray leaves on a deep red background.

This is my first experiment using my new inexpensive digital camera to capture a tie image, rather than my scanner. The scanner produces higher resolution images, I think, based on the size of the image in KB, anyhow. And this picture shows some glare from the camera flash. It's like only the second or third picture I've taken with the camera, so obviously I haven't a clue as to what I'm doing as yet.

But the reason I used this shot instead of the scan I made prior to trying the camera was that I couldn't get an accurate on-screen color using the scanned image. If I got the red to display the proper shade of deep burgandy, then the leaves were far too purple. If I got the leaves to the correct pale shade of silvery gray, then the red was much to light a shade, not at all like the tie itself. It was frustrating, to say the least.

I may try shooting the tie with the camera again, later, when I learn more about what I'm doing, and see if I can come up with a better image. In the meantime, at least, these colors appear more or less accurate to my eye.

This tie has no extant labels to transcribe. Hopefully the gorgeous slightly stylized leaf pattern imbedded into the fabric itself is visible. This is a beautiful tie, even if this low-quality image may not entirely do it justice.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number Two

Here's another of the more spectacular specimens from my collection of vintage ties featuring autumn leaves. This is a fairly recent addition to my collection, which means, as it generally does, that I've added it within the last 2 or 3 years. Unfortunately, neither my wife nor I can remember just where we picked it up, or where it came from.

The tie does have one label which reads:
Peterson, N.J.
Typing the words "autumn leaves" naturally made me think of the song by that same name, and most especially, when I think of that song, I think of the version by Roger Williams, which apparently spent a month at #1 on the pop charts back in 1955, when I was a mere toddler.

Much later, my freshman year in high school in fact, I sang in the men's chorus. The men's club always put on the fall talent show, and the men's chorus always sang "Autumn Leaves" as the "title song" so to speak.

Later on, probably my junior or senior year, we had this remarkable pianist on campus named Bob Silverman (so far as I know, no relation to the well-known classical Canadian pianist of the same name) who could play virtually anything in any style, and who could imitate the Roger Williams version of the song to perfection. Later he went on to play for the Heritage Singers, an Adventist gospel singing group. I haven't seen or heard of him in years.

Anyway, that song still evokes bittersweet romantic emotions whenever I hear it. To me it's the perfect evocation of the autumnal season. What's that got to do with this tie? Not much, except that this tie, too, provides a welcome reminder of autumn.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Autumn Leaves Number One

Today is the day after the autumnal equinox, and the day before my birthday. Which makes it an interesting day from my perspective, but especially because we are now "officially" in the autumn season, also known as "fall" because of the falling of leaves from deciduous trees which occurs at this time of year.

What it means for my tie blog is that finally I can begin displaying one of my favorite subcollections, specifically, my collection of vintage ties that depict the leaves of autumn. And here is the first, one of my favorites.

I love the busy repeated pattern of parallel lines of varying lengths which makes up the background of the tie. I also love the curving strip of golden orange color that sweeps down the center of the tie, and of course I especially enjoy the colorful leaves which tumble down and spill off that central strip.

This tie also has a brocade pattern woven into the fabric, which may be difficult to see in the scanned image. It is a geometrical pattern of blocks of squares, four to a block, that is seemingly almost antithetically opposed to the free wheeling and abstract nature of the design of the tie itself.

And what is that dark brown colored fabric up in the left corner, you might well ask. What indeed? This tie is one of those that changes color where the knot would have been tied. If my scanner had a larger bed, and I could show a few more inches of the tie, you'd see it abruptly change to the solid chocolate brown color that instead, is shown in the upper left. From the tip of the tie, to the change in color, is almost precisely 15 inches.

This tie has no lables to transcribe, and I've had it for a long time, so long that I no longer recall when or where or how I obtained it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Impossible, since I get to wear it, and you can only see this picture of it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Orange with Khaki

This is one of my all-time favorite vintage ties, especially for wearing nowadays. I don't think the color came through too accurately in the scan, but the green squares which highlight the tie are the perfect shade of khaki green to go with a couple of khaki-olive colored shirts that I own.

Having the highlight color on the tie match the shirt, rather than the tie's basic color, is more effective, as the shirt sets off the tie, rather than the two blending together, but you still get a striking color coordination between the shirt and tie.

Beyond that, there's not a lot to say about this beauty. It has no extant labels to transcribe for clues as to its orgin. I have no recollection of when or where I obtained it, except that while I've had it for quite a while, it doesn't date back to the earliest period of my collection, more in the middle somewhere.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Red with Starbursts

This is one of my favorite vintage ties in red. So where are the starbursts you might be asking? You may not be able to see them very well, since they are imbedded in the fabric itself, the brocade, as I typically refer to it.

You may be able to see the starburst shapes a little better if you click on the image to enlarge it slightly. Look especially at the small end of the tie, located on the right. The shapes seem to show up best there.

This tie is similar, so far as I can recall, to one that I lost, one that I bought when I made my first ever purchase of vintage ties as a collector. The other tie I bought at that time is the third tie I posted when beginning this blog back in January of 2006, the one I titled "Shades of Purple." This is NOT the tie I bought with that one, but that lost tie was somewhat similar to this one is design and color, as best I can remember.

This tie has no manufacturer's label, but it does have a seller's label which reads:
Billing, Mont.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Silvery Gray Plus

This was obviously a very nice tie at one time, and it still has elements of greatness, but it would appear to be suffering from its own popularity. That is to say, it's wearing out. You can plainly see the wear, especially along the bottom edges. The entire tie is limp, its fabric material having lost much of its resiliency.

But you can at least see quite plainly the gorgeous brocade pattern woven directly into the fabric. And the three large white circles add interest to the design. I have no idea what the small figures inside the circles are. They look a bit like demented stick figures, or perhaps they are green lanterns hanging from ornamental branches. Who knows? Who cares?

Anyway, this is today's vintage tie. Take it or leave it.

The tie has one label, sewn into the large end for a change. Most tie labels are sewn into the small end. The label reads

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Orange and Green with Triangles

The only possible connection between this tie and last week's is the color orange, and that's a tenuous connection, at best. I had to scan this tie twice in order to show you the entire design. My scanner bed simply isn't large enough, and I don't yet own a digital camera, although that situation may hopefully change soon.

In the first image, you have to look closely to see that the black lines which form the triangular design, somewhat reminiscent of suspension bridge cables, continue with another set down in the bottom forest green section, parallel to the large blank orange triangle.

And the primary reason for the second scan was to show the most interesting aspect of the design, which is how the lines all converge, and then diverge once again in the opposite direction, further up the tie.

This tie has both the sellers and manufacturer's labels intact. The first reads:

535 Broadway at Alder
Portland, Oregon

while the second is the familiar:

Fashion Craft

with the letters SN enclosed in a diamond shape.

On the reverse we find the usual:


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Linked Circles with Floral Insets

One of the things I like to do with this blog is to make connections between ties, and to present ties in a related series. So after last week's exemplar, I thought of this example. What's the connection? The inset circular frames with their images of plants.

Last week's tie had birds inside diamond shaped frames, but also featured leaves inside smaller circle shaped frames. The frames on this tie are more oval shaped, but once again we have plant-like images, albeit somewhat stylized.

The basic pattern of the tie itself consists of rigidly overlapping interlocking white ovoids, on a brilliant blue background. Within the blue, imbedded into the fabric itself, is a swirling circular pattern of darker on lighter color, visible if you look closely.

This tie is narrower than many of the others I've posted, measuring only 3 1/4 inches at its widest point. This may mean that it is early fifties vintage rather than late forties, but that's only a hypothesis on my part. The tie has no labels to assist in its identification.

Another commonality with last week's tie is that some of the floral insets, as I'm calling them, have an orange background, as did those in last week's tie, again making this tie wearable with an orange shirt for a summery effect.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tropical Egrets

Just when I thought I'd run out of tropical images, I remembered this tie! I don't know why, exactly, but the birds look tropical to me. Even though we have egrets in the Pacific NorthWest, those little framed picture vignettes project a tropical flavor to me. That giant moon (could be the sinking sun, I suppose), the foliage, and the bird: it all says tropics, somehow.

This poor old tie is definitely showing its age. Primarily through a loss of "resilience." The fabric is limp, and the tie no longer holds its shape very well. I note that "Resilient construction" is a favorite bragging term on many tie labels. Well, this tie has no labels, and if it did, resilient construction would certainly not apply, at least in its current state.

It's still a great summer tie, and the pale orange color of the background of the little picture vignettes, both the circular and diamond shaped ones, makes it a great choice with a pale orange shirt. I still manage to wear it once or twice each summer season.

I think I overdid it just a bit with my image enhancing software though. The color on screen is a bit stronger than what I'm seeing when I hold the tie in my hand. The body of the tie should be just a bit lighter, more towards tan, and less towards gold. My bad.

An interesting touch that you might not notice right off is the difference between the two bird pictures. The one lower down shows leaves, while the one further up shows bare wintery branches. Reminds one of that famous line by Shakespeare, perhaps:
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Coral and Starfish

In one more nod to tropical themes, allow me to present this matched pair of light-weight Hawaiian style ties. Instead of a Hawaiian shirt, wear a Hawaiian tie!

I call them light-weight, because they are made of a very thin, silky slippery fabric, much like your typical Hawaiian shirt. Their bold white patterns on solid blue and red make a great splash of an effect when worn with a typical tropical suit, such as those made famous by Mark Twain or the Colonel.

It's lots of fun having the matched pair, although I'm not 100% positive where or when I got them. I'm thinking that I might have purchased them on eBay, or perhaps they were part of that set I bought from the vintage clothing store in Seattle (see my entry on the Burro, Sombrero and Hay Wagon), but I'm thinking not.

Each tie has a seller's label, stitched to the small end, about 5 inches up from the end, which reads:
and a manufacturer label stitched into the small end that reads
Made in California
You may recall that Elongated Ovals had the same manufacturer's label.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunflowers, Union Made

Nothing says summer quite like sunflowers. These may not be depicted in their natural colors, but they do, nevertheless, suggest the rays of the summer sun, reflected in and symbolized by the sun-like shapes of the sunflower blossoms, and, frankly, by the waving stalks of grass, which also resemble tongues of flame streaming out from the sun's corona.

One can only surmise that this tie (like the Burro, Sombrero and Hay Wagon set) may have come in a variety of color combinations, the others of which we can only imagine.

This tie has a seller's label which reads:
Salem, Ore.
On the reverse of the label is another label, loosely stitched to it, which reads at the bottom:
There is a union symbol, and more wording at the top, which is too faded to make out. I provide a close-up of the label here, for anyone who might be able to read more of it than I can.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tropical Island

Well, this weekend we've been hit hard here with the same heat wave that has been hitting much of the rest of the country recently. It's been over 100º Fahrenheit the past couple of days, much too warm, especially when your abode lacks air conditioning, as ours does.

So, I thought another tie with a summer theme would certainly be in order. I don't suppose that a palm tree necessarily signifies summer, but one generally thinks of the tropics and warm weather when you see one.

According to the apparently hand-painted label on the reverse of the wide end of the tie, this tie is "INDIVIDUALLY HAND PAINTED." The paint was encrusted with glitter at one time, but much of it has vanished over the years, leaving mere remnants behind. The tie's single label reads the same as last week's tie:
Fashion Craft

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Summer Flowers

Actually, I don't know if these are summer flowers or not. Maybe they're spring or autumn flowers! But they somehow look like summer to me.

What kind of flowers are they? Maybe poppies? I don't know. Any flower experts out there are free to voice their views.

I've had this tie for many years. I'm fairly sure I collected it back during my college days, or shortly thereafter. In the 1970's, in other words. I probably found it at St. Vincent de Paul in Walla Walla, Washington. And I'm sure I paid less than $5.00. Maybe only $1 or $2.

The manufacturer's label reads simply (like at least one other of my posted specimens):
Fasion Craft
On the reverse of the label it reads:
Resilient Construction.
This tie definitely shows its age, with signs of wear, and one serious stain, right above the first flower. Still, it makes a bold statement, colorful and bright.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Floral Paisley on Brown

There's not much really to say about this tie. It has no labels, unfortunately, and I don't remember exactly when or where I obtained it. I'm thinking it was a junk store find, relatively recent, i.e. within the past several years.

It's paisley on brown. The paisley's themselves have a vaguely floral filler, with leaf-like appendages that give the impression of a swimming creature such as a paramecium. I don't know how well they'll show up on the scanned screen image, but in between the paisley designs are a filler of black lines comprising a mass of connected small irregular shapes somewhat resembling bones.

This is the last of the prominently paisley designs from my vintage tie collection. I won't swear that there is nothing else paisley lurking in my closet, in fact, I have an entire tie rack of more modern paisley designs, but for the vintage ties, this is pretty much it. So let's review: here's a list (with links) of the paisley designs presented thus far:

Dad's Red and Blue Paisley--January 8, 2006

Paisley Arches--June 4, 2006
Green and Tan Paisley on Brown--June 11, 2006
Pseudo-Meta-Paisley from Hawaii--July 2, 2006

and now:

Floral Paisley on Brown

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Pseudo-Meta-Paisley from Hawaii

Continuing a kind of theme (a pseudo theme, perhaps?) from last week, I present another tie with a Hawaiian connection. The seller's label on this tie reads:

Popular Clo. Co. Ltd.
Honolulu, T.H.

Of course, this is a seller label, not a manufacturer label, so the connection with Hawaii is somewhat tenuous. That is, the design of the tie has no apparent Hawaiian connection, unlike last week's tie. But this tie, at least, can be presumed to have BEEN in Hawaii, while a tie whose design is intended to LOOK Hawaiian, need never have actually been near the place physically.

So which form of Hawaiian-ness is the more authentic? I'll leave that decision for the existentialists or ontologists among you

T.H., one presumes, stands for Territory of Hawaii. Since this is presumed to be a 1940's era tie, Hawaii was not yet a state at the time of its original sale. Statehood for Hawaii would not come until 1959, 7 months after Alaska's statehood, but 47 years after the next most recent state to attain that rank, Arizona, which became a state in 1912.

Now, back to the tie itself. What are those grayish shapes scattered about? Are they paisleys? Depends on how you define the term, I suppose, but they most I'd give you is that they are paisley-shaped. Here are a couple of definitions of paisley that I like:

Paisley is a droplet-shaped vegetal motif, similar to half of the T'ai Chi symbol, the Indian bodhi tree leaf, or the mango tree. The design originated in India . . .

An oriental pattern motif which is shaped like a teardrop, rounded at one end with a curving point at the other. Generally the inside of the teardrop shape contains many abstract designs, many of Indian or oriental origin.
Based on these definitions, I'd have to say that the grayish shapes on this tie are teardrop shaped, not paisleys.

Now, however, consider the larger shapes, with their white backgrounds, inside of which the grayish teardrop shapes find themselves, surrounded by red blobules. These larger shapes, perhaps, meet the definition of paisley. They too, are teardrop shaped, and they are filled with abstract designs, though whether of an Indian or oriental origin could be debated.

So, might I be justified in describing the pattern on this tie as pseudo-meta-paisley? Maybe, at least if I keep my tongue tucked firmly in cheek.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hawaiian Gardens

In recognition of the summer solstice, marking the beginning of the summer season, I present this tropical tie. Like Paisley Arches from three weeks ago, this tie has its design name, "Hawaiian Gardens" prominently printed on the small end of the tie.

I've had this tie almost as long as I've been collecting. It was a gift from my academy (high school) junior and senior year roommate. He bought it at a Goodwill store in Portland, Oregon, along with another tie and a 40's era suit, as he reminded me in a recent e-mail message. The whole package cost less than $15 as he recalls it. He gave me the other tie, also, and I'll be featuring it at some unspecified future date, no doubt.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Feathers for Father's Day

This is an especially special tie for a special day. I'm posting it on father's day in honor of my father, William Glenn Stuivenga, who passed away just over a year ago, on March 23, 2005. Born on October 20, 1921, in Tillamook Oregon, he was 83 years old at the time of his death.

This is one of the ties that he had owned and worn in the 1940's and 50's and which he passed along to me when I asked him for them. I posted his blue and red paisley tie back in January when I started this vintage tie blog.

But not only is this tie especially meaningful at this time because of its having been my Dad's, it is a special tie in its own right. It is certainly one of the most vibrantly colorful and dramatically designed ties in my collection. Two bright feathers (I suppose they could possibly be leaves) rest in a swirled pattern of brilliant color on a shaded gray background.

It has always been one of my absolute favorite ties, one that I loved to show and wear. I especially like the way it flares out slightly at the base, giving it a dramatic and dashing appearance. And the colors and pattern are quite wonderful. This tie would hold a prized place in my collection even if it weren't my Dad's.

Unfortunately, I had to give up wearing it some years back, as it is just plain wearing out. If you look closely, you may be able to spot the fraying along the bottom edge of the tie, and the thin central part, where it is tied, is fraying very badly as well. You can see part of it along the edges of the narrow piece on the left. Nowadays, I generally have it mounted in a shadow box, and hung on the wall, along with two other special ties that deserve that kind of special treatment.

Here are two pictures of my Dad from the approximate era when he probably wore this tie. He is not wearing a tie in either picture, but he probably only wore ties to church, or to weddings, or other similar formal functions. In the first picture he is shown with his father, William Stuivenga, my grandfather. In the second, he is shown with my Mom, Joy nee Manley, shortly after they were married. While neither picture shows him in a tie, they do at least give an idea of his appearance back in the era when he would have presumably worn this tie.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Green & Tan Paisley on Brown

Continuing a theme from last week, I present another paisley pattern. This is the third paisley on the blog, the first being my Dad's red and blue, the other, last week's Paisley Arches. Not much else needs to be said for this tie, it pretty much speaks for itself.

The paisley patterns are made up of smaller patterns that have an almost fractal quality to them, except that they, themselves are not smaller paisleys.

The tie's two labels read:
Tacoma, Wash.
Fashion Craft

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Paisley Arches

Not too often does a vintage tie tell us straight out the name of the design. But this one does. Right on the narrow end, plainly printed, are the words "Paisley Arches."

And once you look at the design on the tie, especially sideways, you see that yes, indeed, there are arches, and they are filled with paisley patterns. How's that for a little alliteration? Plentiful plainly printed paisley patterns produce a picturesque piece.

On occasion, when wearing this tie, upon receiving comment upon it, I have attempted to engage the commenter in the activity of guessing the name of the design, sort of in a 20-questions mode.

Q. Well, what are these patterns called?
A. Paisely

Q. Ok, that's the first word in the name. Now, what would you call this pattern, especially if you consider them sideways?

Rarely could anyone guess the "arches" part, however.

This fine tie has two labels. The first reads:
The second:
Champagne Crepes
by Siar

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Elongated Ovals

Browns, rust, orange, these seem to be popular tie colors for 40's era ties. This one is a basic brown, albeit with warm overtones, featuring yellow highlights. The little cross hatched lines in groups of three add interest through their business, as do the tiny ovals found in the fabric pattern itself, in larger patches of dark on light, and light on dark. Only the dark on light spots show up well in the scanned image.

This tie has an interesting label which reads:
Made in California
"Hollyvogue" is certainly an unusual brand name, but as a quick Google search showed, the name is still in use today. In fact there is a web site, which states that
We are a family business that has over 40 years combined experience in the fashion industry including designing and manufacturing in both wholesale and retail markets. Our products are manufactured domestically as well as in Europe and Asia. Our family company name was Hollyvogue and we have now carried that name forward to our web site. We take pride in the quality of all our products as we have since the company's inception.
You can see the current line of HollyVogue neckties online.

I also located a site called Jabot's "HollyVogue" Vintage Boutique which boasts that it
is devoted to bringing you the finest quality authentic vintage fashions on the Internet. Shopped by some of the Finest Swing Bands in the Country! Our inventory ranges from the Victorian era all the way through the 1960s for men and women. Dry Cleaned and ready to wear!
Here's a link to their men's ties page.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

White Crysknives on Red

This tie makes a bold statement with its pattern of white on a deep red or maroon color.

Unfortunately, the equally rich brocade pattern is not visible in the scan. You have to look really closely at the tie itself to make it out. Unless the light hits it just right, the brocade pattern is invisible on the tie itself at a distance of more than a few inches.

The brocade pattern is very similar, though not identical, to the shape of the white crysknife patterns that cover the tie itself. The use of the term "crysknives" is a reference to Frank Herbert's famous science fiction novel, Dune, in which the "natives" fashion knives from the teeth of the giant sandwords that inhabit their planet. That is what the white patterns reminded me of, and I couldn't think of anything better to call them.

The tie has a label sewn into the narrow end that reads, simply:

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Tropical Bird Plumage

So far I've put up ties with floral images, one tie depicting a fish, one with lanterns, and just last week, a tie that shows a folk scene from the Mexican countryside. But the majority of the ties have featured designs of a more abstract nature. Even the floral
images have been more decorative than realistic.

But continuing the theme from last week, if the theme be depictions of things that exist in the real world as opposed to abstractions, I present this fanciful peacock, illuminated by the glorious light of the moon.

One could debate, I suppose, over last week's image. Is that too, the moon floating overhead? Or is it the evening sun, sinking into the west? Whatever the case there, this is surely intended to be the moon here.

In order to display the picture in its entirety, I had to cut off the pointed tip of the tie, something I would ordinarily avoid. But I think it was justified here, as not showing the full image in all its splendor would certainly detract from the effect.

Notice that the small middle part of the tie is red, rather than navy, such that the knot would appear red, complementing the reds in the body of the bird, and the red feather highlights.

Inside the large end of the tie is the seller's label which reads:
J.S. Williams
San Jose
Inside the small end we find the maker's tag which reads:
Tropical Bird Plumage
Cheney Cravats
All silk

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Burro, Sombrero, and Hay Wagon

Friday was, of course, Cinco de Mayo, which is NOT Mexican Independance Day, but celebrates a great victory over invading French forces in 1862. That this is a holiday worth celebrating in the United States is due to the fact that the French were supporting the Confederacy, and the outcome of the Civil War could have been different, had the French won in Mexico.

Anyway, in looking for a vintage tie to post today, I thought of Cinco de Mayo, and tried to find something to celebrate all things Mexican. The best I could do was this charming folk image of the plucky burro, pulling the hay wagon, on which reclines the sombrero-wearing farmer, taking his justified rest from the labor of loading all that hay.

In the 40's, as now, tie makers often manufactured the same tie design in several different fabric colors, as shown here. For collectors, finding more than one of the colors is rare indeed, all these many years later. Here three colors are demonstrated, although I had to use the narrow end of one of the ties, in order to fit all three onto my scanner.

How did I come to find all three? They were part of an estate, where the gentleman who had owned them obviously liked the tie, and undoubtedly purchased all three at once. I found them at a vintage clothing store at Pike Place Market in Seattle, in 1991, the year we traveled back from Texas to attend our 20-year high school reunions, Arline at Auburn Academy, and me at Laurelwood. Somewhere in there, we found time to visit Pike Place Market, and I snapped up these ties, along with several others. There is another set of three matching like these, which I will post at a later time, and tell the rest of the story about the original owner of the ties.

None of the ties has a label in it. They must have been popular with their original owner, because they show some staining and signs of wear.

Enough for now. I'll just say "¡Viva Mexico!" and let it go at that.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Orange with Nonconcentric Green & White Circles

Now for something completely different, try out this specimen! Looks like it belongs on a circus clown's outfit, almost. Some of my friends have told me the spots look like martini olives, but since I'm a fan of tongue twisters, I like to call it my "spilt split pea soup" tie.

This tie belongs to a large class of vintage 40's era ties that were probably less expensive than the elaborately brocaded fabrics I began with on this blog. They are made of rayon, not silk, but costly or not, the bright colors and bold patterns are certainly a reflection of their times, and of the styles of that period.

I used to have a checked shirt (almost a plaid, but narrow stripes) in orange and green that I would wear with this tie when I was feeling particularly daring. I probably looked like a clown when I did! Nowadays it still makes a gaudy statement when I wear it with a solid olive green shirt, or occasionally with an orange shirt I own.

I've had this tie for many years, since the early 80's at least, possibly longer. It may be one I picked up in my college years, I just don't recall. But my earliest recollections of wearing it are in the several years prior to our move to Texas in 1984. So I know I've had it since then, at least.

The label reads:

Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.
Rayon Cravats