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

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Spring Blossoms

Now that spring has sprung and Easter has come and gone (although the liturgical season of Easter continues through the 40 days until Pentecost), I thought I should present a tie that befits the season. Strangely, while my collection includes a dozen or more ties featuring autumn leaves, I have precious few that depict spring themes. Here's one, anyhow.

This tie's pattern looks like it has a Japanese influence, perhaps. Spindly branches sport blossom clusters reminiscent of cherry blossoms. What ARE those large green tear-shaped objects? Ginko leaves, suggested my wife. Sounds good to me, I said.

Just for variety, I scanned this tie against a background of fabric from the shirt I generally wear it with. I wore this shirt and tie combination to church 3 times this weekend. Saturday morning at the Seventh-day Adventist church to hear the elite choir from my alma mater present the program in lieu of a sermon, Saturday afternoon at a memorial service for which I served as organist, and again this morning (Sunday) at the Episcopal church where I serve as the paid organist.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gray with Rosebuds

This is the fourth and last, for now, of ties in this swirled matte brushed finish style which I've been featuring for the past month. I own at least one more tie in this style, probably the most spectacular of all, but am saving it for later, not to mention that it is currently mounted in a shadow box display, and I'll have to take it out to scan it.

This is the narrowest one yet, measuring only 3 inches across. I suppose this could mean that it is from a transitional period between the wide flamboyant 40's era and the ultra-narrow, more conservative 50's ties, but to be honest, I don't really know.

So what are the ten little red blobs which travel down the tie? They could be long-stemmed rosebuds, each with a pair of leaves just below the bud. You decide.

If you look closely (or download the image file and load it into image manipulating software so as to be able to zoom in on it) you can see extra stitching on the thin piece to the right, reinforcing the area which receives the most stress from being tied. This is a feature not found on most of my vintage ties, indicating a higher quality construction, perhaps.

The tie's one label reads: "BY d'Arsac PARK AVENUE NEW YORK", except that the "d'Arsac" is in a much larger display script font than the rest of the text, which is in a common block style.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Blue "crepe" ?

This is the next in the series of brushed surface style ties, this one in a bright blue with red and yellow highlights. My only complaint is that this specimen is not quite as wide as my favorites, measuring only 3 & 5/8 inches at its widest point.

I discovered (from examining vintage ties up for sale on eBay) that sometimes the fabric for ties of this style is described as crepe. I'm not 100% sure that the fabric of THIS tie (or the last two I've posted) should properly be described as crepe, but I just offer this as an observation.

Another thing worth noting is that if you tie it just right, theoretically, the knot will include the red striped section shown here on the narrow piece to the left. This is a common technique for these vintage ties, to change the fabric color so as to make the knot a different color than the rest of the tie, or to complement the primary color scheme in some way. Here the red of the knot would reflect the red highlights down the center of the tie, creating an interesting effect.

This particular tie is beautifully lined with an off-white satin finish fabric that has an elaborate floral pattern brocaded into it. Just inside the back, plainly visible if you turn over the large end of the tie, is printed

"Individually Hand Painted Pure Silk Made in California"

A label sewed to the inside of the small end reads:

"made and styled in california for Penney's."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Orange Lanterns

This is the second in my series of matte brushed finish ties. I'm not really quite sure what to call them, or how to describe them, but if you compare this one with last week's example, I think you'll see what I mean, especially if you compare them with the ones I've posted previously. If anyone knows what this style is called in the industry, officially or unofficially, please let me know.

On the reverse side of this tie is written in a beautiful almost calligraphic flowing script: "Hand Painted in Calif." This legend is itself undoubtedly hand painted. I'm not sure if this means that the ENTIRE tie is handpainted, or just the lanterns. I'd be inclined to think just the lanterns, except that the background lines themselves fade out where the lanterns are, so my guess is that the entire pattern on the tie, background and all, was hand painted. Again, if anyone knows more about it than me, please post a comment and let me know.

I've had this tie for quite a long time. My wife says she can't remember me not having it, so my guess is that it's another one I picked up back in my early days of collecting, probably while I was still in college.

There is a small label inside the large end of the tie that reads "Acetate woven with NYLON" and another larger label sewn onto the back side of the small end that reads
Resilient construction
Towncraft Deluxe Cravat
Fabric loomed in U.S.A.