Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Taking a break

Hi folks, loyal readers, casual browsers, whoever you are!

I wish to apologize for the lack of any new postings since the beginning of November. I didn't intend to take this break, but I've just been ferociously busy, and haven't been able to find any time for scanning and posting new ties. Because of the busy holiday season, this unintended break may well stretch through the end of the year, and it may be January before any more ties get posted here, but rest assured, I WILL be back, eventually, sure as my name is WILL!

Thank you for your patience,


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Brown, Blue, and Yellow

OK, we're back to standard forties era ties, after several weeks of various diversions. It's getting hard to remember which ties in my collection have already been featured on the blog, and which have not. However, I looked through all my scanned images (which is faster than reviewing the entire blog), and didn't find this one anywhere.

It's a classic forties look, just a sixteenth of an inch under 4 inches in width at its widest point. The fabric has an elaborate brocade woven into the fabric, which is only hinted at in the uploaded image. The brocade pattern appears to be an ornamental floral or vine pattern, with small dots floating between the vines or leaves. You can see it a little better if you click on the image to load a larger version into your browser.

The tie itself is in a rich chocolate brown, with intersecting arcs of yellow and blue. At the intersections, the overlapping segments revert to the background brown, with small stylized tulip shapes, surrounded by concentric circular patterns, kind of like what an artistic person might doodle on a piece of paper during a meeting.

Further up the tie, visible here in the third folded piece, off to the right side in the scan, appear little truncated versions of the tulip shapes floating independently with semi-circular arcs alternating to the right or left of them.

The tie unfortunately lacks any extant labels to transcribe. So that's it until the next time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brand New Thirties Era

No tie got posted last Sunday. Sorry. We were out of town. My sister lives on a big fruit orchard up in the Hood River Valley, in the little town of Odell, Oregon. Last Sunday we were at her place, canning applesauce all day. It was work, but it was fun! And we went home with almost 30 jars of applesauce. Plus another couple of jars of apple juice. My sister and our cousin canned another 85 jars or so between them (we helped) plus some more tiny jars for a friend.

So here we have an unusual tie. Unusual primarily in that it is still brand new! Never been worn. At least one presumes this to be the case, because it still has an original paper wrapper attached, as you can clearly see in the scan. On the front, the wrapper reads:

Murrytown Ties
Styled by Wembley
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

On the back, the wrapper reads as follows:

60% Rayon
40% Wool
Mfg. 4075

And then along the side, running the opposite direction, and kind of blurry, as though it were applied with a rubber stamp or something, it reads:

Section 13, MPR 580
G.P.A. Retail Ceiling Price $1.00

The tie also has a label sewn into the small end, which repeats some of the same information, as follows:

Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

I may have obtained this tie in Santa Cruz also, like the ones I posted a few weeks ago, but if so, it was 11 years ago, the last time I was there. I had forgotten about it, and had it hanging on a special rack of ties, not in a place I would have ordinarily thought to have looked. My wife insists I got it more recently, but I know it's been at least a year or two. I found another brand new tie at the same time, although the other one is quite different, narrow, and with a straight cut end, no point (I have a whole sub-collection of those which I will post here some day, when I run out of other ties to post.)

So is it really 1930's? I suppose I should research publications and advertisements from that era, to see if $1.00 was a typical price for a tie in those days. And did they already have rayon then? When did it first come into production? I honestly don't know. Maybe some of my loyal readers can tell me. Right now, today, I'm too harried and hurried to even go Google searching to see what I can find out. I've got several other things I need to get done, and the day (and the weekend) is fast slipping away.

The tie has two typical 30's era characteristics, but lacks the third. First, it's about the right width, size, and shape, with the characteristic flaring especially on the small end. Second, although it's not visible in the scan, it has the typical off-centered and folded over finishing in the back that all of my other 30's era ties have.

But it lacks the one final characteristic, which is having the pattern woven directly into the fabric. Instead, the loosely stylized paisley-shaped designs appear almost stamped onto the fabric. Certainly they are ONLY present on the front side of the fabric, and do not penetrate through to the back side. As you approach the bottom of the wide end, the dark green paisley shapes begin to fade out, and become blotchy, as though the stamp were losing its ink. I suppose this fading effect could be due to exposure to sunlight, but that seems unlikely, as you'd expect the entire pattern to fade, not just splotches of it.

Well, that's more than enough verbiage to go with this tie. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Thirties--Red Stripes

Here is the second thirties-era tie from the bag of ties I received last Sunday. This one is a more ordinary design, traditional stripes in red, black and silver.

The construction is very typical thirties, with no lining, just the tie fabric itself, with the design woven directly into the fabric, and a thin seam sewn all around the end, and edges. Off-center construction in the back, as you can see from the short end, where I scanned the back side, to show the label.

But as is also typical of thirties ties, the fabric itself is rich looking, with a brilliant sheen to it. The brightest red area of the stripes, and the silver line, highlighted as it is between two contrasting black lines, both glow and shine in a suitably opulent manner. That effect probably doesn't come through too well in the scan.

It's a J.C. Penney tie, as the label reads, simply:
Hand tailored

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maroon Nobility

Just two weeks ago I was apologizing for presenting another thirties tie when I had previously thought I was all through with that era. In the meantime, I discovered another thirties tie hidden in my own collection, special in a fairly unique way, at least for my collection, but that's not the one I'm presenting today. That one will have to wait a couple of weeks.

Instead, this new thirties classic was added to my collection just today! After church today, one of the parishioners, a friend, told me he had a bag full of ties for me, out in his car. They come from his father-in-law, who, at 82 years of age, is in declining health, and is not going to be needing them any more. So, totally out of the blue, I had a bunch of new old ties to look through.

And lo, and behold, when I sorted them out, there were at least two genuine thirties era beauties in the bag. Lots of ugly big wide polyester seventies ties, to be sure, but in with those, a few real treasures, including this lovely example.

It has all of the typical thirties characteristics that I've enumerated so many times in the past. Off center folding and stitching in the back, and the design woven directly into the fabric. I'm not quite sure how to describe the design. They could be vaguely floral shapes, irregular concentric circular patterns, somewhat reminiscent to me of the lines indicating steep terrain on a topographical map. However you describe them, they are very nice.

You may recall that back in July, when I thought I was finishing off my thirties collection, I described the prevalence of maroon among my ties from this era, and provided a set of links to all of the thirties maroon examples previously blogged. Now here is another to add to that collection!

The tie has one label, shown in the scan, which provides the impetus for the title I've given this entry, "Maroon Nobility." The label reads as follows:


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Handpainted Autumn Leaves

In recognition of the first day of Autumn, which occurs at the autumnal equinox tomorrow, I present my newest tie depicting autumn leaves. I'm afraid this is probably the only autumn tie I'll be able to blog this year, as I've already shown off all the others in past years. I'm fresh out of vintage autumn leaf ties, except for this one.

To see all of my earlier vintage autumn ties, visit September, October, November, and even December (1 tie) of 2007, plus September (1 tie), October, and November of 2006.

This tie also shares characteristics with another group of ties which I posted early on, starting with the last tie posted in March, 2006, and continuing with three of those posted in April of that year. I described these ties as having a "brushed, matte style surface," and they are all handpainted, I believe, though I'm not 100% positive. There is one additional tie of this sort on the blog, a very special tie that I posted for Father's Day in 2006. If you look at any of those ties, you'll see why I put this one in the same grouping, style-wise, anyhow.

This tie shows its age by the fact that it has some stains on it, stains which didn't come out when I had it cleaned. I got the tie this past summer in Santa Cruz, California, while on vacation there. It was in a vintage clothing store, I believe, that we found it, for not very much money. It has one good size label, sewn into the large end of the tie, which reads as follows:

Made and
Hand Painted
in California of
Acetate and Nylon
by Richley

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Orange with Interlocking Squares

Everytime I glance at this tie, before my eye/brain combination has time to parse just what it is that I'm seeing, I think for a split second that I'm looking at a bunch of those giant E's that optometrists make you look at. "Which way is the E pointing now?"

But when I look more closely, I realize, of course, that these are NOT giant letter E's. They are pairs of interlocking squares. One of each pair is always white; the other alternates between black or a paler orange than the background of the tie.

The tie also has an interesting brocade, which includes large circular patterns, and also sweeping groups of curved lines, suggesting motion. It's certainly a dramatic and colorful tie, with a lively, fluid design.

Definitely forties era. The tie measures 4 1/4 inches at its widest point, just before it begins narrowing to the point. The tie has one label, sewn sideways into the small end which reads as follows:

Resilient Construction
Towncraft Deluxe Cravat
Fabric Loomed in U.S.A.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Stripes in Silver, Black and Grey

Oops. Back at the end of July when I posted the latest addition to my collection of thirties era ties, I indicated that I thought (which I did at the time) it was the last one I had. No more thirties ties until I find and buy another one, I thought (and wrote). Then this week, going through one of my other vintage tie racks, what do I find? What appears to be yet another thirties tie that I had forgotten I had, and which has not yet been posted here!

You see, until recently, I didn't have my thirties collection separated out from the rest of my vintage ties. I had my vintage collection sorted by color. One rack for red, one for blue, one for orange, and one for green. Except, I didn't have enough green ties to fill that rack (each rack holds at least 24 ties, and more, if you put two to a slot) so I filled it out with brown, silver, grey, in other words, other neutral colors.

And the thirties ties were just scattered among all of the above, based on whatever color they were. And this tie was hidden in the middle of that rack, where I had obviously forgotten about its existence. It's a lovely tie, superficially simple in appearance and design, but actually more sophisticated than it first appears.

Recently, though, I moved all the thirties vintage ties to their own rack, or so I thought, except that I had missed this one. Who knows, maybe there's still another one lurking somewhere in my closet! I doubt it, though.

First, establishing the vintage. Look at the small end, which I scanned back side up, not only to show the label, but also to show the construction. Note the off center fold, especially as you near the wide end. This is typical of all the thirties era ties. And if you look at the very bottom, where you can see the back side of the fabric, you may be able to see that the design is woven directly into the fabric itself, another typical characteristic of that era.

I described the design as "superficially simple," because it's just stripes, after all. What could be more ordinary than that? In my book, ties with ordinary stripes are tedious beyond belief. You'll never catch me wearing typical boring stripes on a tie. But these stripes are more glamorous than many, what with their bright silver lines ensconced between black for better contrast.

Furthermore, although it is almost impossible to see in the scan, the wider gray spaces between the sets of double and triple silver stripes are blessed with a shiny almost iridescent surface, with numerous small round bubble shapes floating about. You may be able to see a few of them if you examine the image closely, but not nearly as many are as actually present.

OK, on to the label. It reads as follows:

Dress Clothes Renting
Boston, Mass.-Prov., R.I.

There is a smaller label sewed onto the larger one. It reads:


So the first label, especially the "Dress Clothes Renting" part makes me wonder if this wasn't originally a tie designed to go with formal wear, like a "morning suit" or something. It kind of has that look about it. Just for the record, the tie is 3 1/4 inches wide at its widest point.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Silver Squares

Sorry about last week. We headed out immediately after church to attend a family get-together, down in the Portland area, several hours drive from home, and there was no opportunity to scan or post a tie. Then we spent a couple of days visiting my Mom in Oregon, with no Internet access at all.

So here's this specimen. I chose it because of a connection of sorts with the last tie I posted. What's the connection? The fabric. Like that last tie, this one too is made from a heavy almost stiff kind of fabric, perhaps nylon, or something with nylon or a similar material woven into it. This one doesn't have a label specifying the fabric like the previous one, however.

There IS a label, however, sewn sideways into the large end of the tie, but 10 inches up from the tip. The label reads:

Sander Model Ties

The tie itself is an interesting design, presenting an almost metallic look to it. The vertically oriented squares, which form a pattern over the tilted background checkerboard pattern, almost appear three dimensional, visually standing out as they do from the surface of the tie. But they aren't, not really. With the tie in hand, they almost appear embroidered, but there is no true embroidery, no threads coming through the backside of the tie. It's just a pattern in the fabric, apparently.

It's hard to know for sure the era this tie is from, but I'm guessing forties, like most of those I've posted. I suppose it could possibly be from a later era, such as the seventies, when wide ties again came into vogue, but it doesn't really have the look or feel of that later era.

The point of the small end is worth pointing out. It's not symmetrically cut at all. Quite haphazardly cut, albeit this appears to be the way it was made and sold, since there is a narrow seam sewn around both ends, small and large, symmetrical and asymmetrical though they respectively be.

It's definitely an interesting tie, just not your normal run-of-the-mill forties example.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Green and Orange Nylon

The pattern on this tie is strange enough, but the fabric is what's really strange! Luckily there is a label which illuminates the fabric, somewhat. The label, interestingly, is sewn into large end of the tie, about nine inches up from the end of the tie. It reads as follows:

Guaranteed for LIFE
by Sherman

And yes, indeedy, this tie is most definitely made from nylon fabric. It is heavy duty, course, slippery, ribbed nylon, almost like something you'd expect to find tent fabric, or a wind breaker jacket, or something like that made out of, not a tie.

If you want a fabric to compare it with, the closest of any tie I've posted recently is the one depicting vintage gramophones, which I posted back in April of this year, and which was a special acetate fabric woven by the Rhodia company. But even that tie's fabric had a silky smooth feeling, compared with this.

Nevertheless, the tie ties neatly enough, and it certainly hangs flat. It would be difficult to change the crease, I think. But enough about the fabric.

What is this pattern trying to depict? A clue may come from the orange small-end piece depicted on the right side of the scan. The entire tie switches to this color and pattern about another four inches above the portion contained in the scan of the main piece. This would have caused the tie's not to be entirely in this complementary orange color, originally.

The pattern of green lines on the orange here looks to me like it might be depicting small wavelets of water. And those bizarrely shaped patterns on the face of the tie itself, getting ever larger as they approach the bottom, could perhaps be large droplets of water, splashing down the tie. If more of them were orange, rather than turquoise in color, one might almost thing they were tongues of flame, similar to the ones artists sometimes depict falling on the apostles on the first Day of Pentecost.

Well, perhaps I have too active an imagination. You can decide what they are for yourself, I guess, and write a comment, if you have another view.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dotted stripes of brown on gold

This is an example of not really paying attention and thinking less of a tie because of its current condition. This tie is old, has a stain on it, and has totally lost whatever resiliency it once might have had. The fabric is limp and almost bedraggled looking nowadays. And the colors are not particularly bright or spectacular.

Consequently, I never paid it much mind, or thought very much of it. I wear it once a year or so, when I have an appropriately colored shirt available.

Then today, while scanning the tie, I read the label, sewed inside the small end:

Created Expressly For
Freem's Ltd.
Waldorf Astoria, New York
Roney Plaza Miami Beach
Hand Painted - All Silk

Wow! Who knew? And now that I look more closely, I can see that this was, indeed, one mighty fine tie in its day. Just look at the magnificent brocaded fabric which provides the background, featuring large swirling patterns, reminiscent of a stylized sun or sunflower. Then, the supposedly hand-painted pattern overlaid onto it: brown stripes of varying widths running in a traditional angle down the tie, neither horizontal nor vertical, but 45 degrees between the two.

The wide stripes have lozenge-shaped openings left in them, like a series of oval dots. Painted on top of these are more dots, off-white in color, but deliberately narrower than the original openings, to allow some of the background color to show through next to the off-white. And the narrow brown stripes have additional dots painted next to them, rather than on top of the stripe.

There is a pair of initials, presumably those of the painter, painted near the bottom of the small end of the tie. "HF" is how I would read them. I have no idea who HF might have been.

Another point worth noting is that on the small end, the background color is a slightly different shade of gold, almost a greenish-gold color. I don't think it's really very perceptible in the scan, but it definitely is when you have the tie in hand. Since this end of the tie has likely had less exposure to light and sun than the large end, one presumes this might be closer to the original color.

A lovely tie indeed, even if today it presents only a shadow of its original presumed glory.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Purple and Yellow

OK, I have so many things to say about this tie that I hardly know where to begin. First, although you can't see it in the scan, it has an off-center construction on the reverse side as do all of the thirties ties I've posted.

However, this tie is lined, unlike the vast majority of the thirties specimens, and it doesn't have its pattern woven directly into the fabric the way those ties do. So I don't think this tie is thirties, but more likely forties. Its style, the design of the pattern, all of that, say forties to me.

Let's talk about that design. The deep purple shapes are like largish stylized leaves. On some of them, you can even see the stems. Because they are so large, no entire leaf shape appears anywhere on the tie. They are always continuing off the edges.

Each leaf has a few large yellow bubbles or spots on it. Generally three or four visible on the portion of the leaf that manages to fit onto the front of the tie. These yellow spots are themselves two-toned, with a darker egg yolk shade of yellow in the center, surrounded by a paler almost taupe color.

However, these spots or bubbles don't confine themselves to the leaves, but appear in the interstices separating the leaves as well. Except that some of the spots located in these interstitial areas have purple centers instead of the egg yolk colored ones.

Then, the rest of the leaf space is filled with additional bubble shapes in various sizes, consisting of nothing but the paler yellow background color outlines. That is, the space inside these bubbles is the same purple color of the leaves that flows around and between them.

All in all, it makes for a complicated and sophisticated design. The fabric itself also sports a brocaded effect which probably won't be very visible at all in the scan. The brocade pattern is difficult to make out, even with the tie in hand, due to the contrasting dark and light colors on the surface of the tie, but it appears to consist of circular sprays of small paisley shaped leafy figures.

OK, now let's talk about the shape of the tie. If you look at the small end, you'll notice how dramatically it flares out towards the end. The large end lacks this flaring effect, but one can't help wonder if it had a similar flare at one time, and suffered its removal for the purpose of narrowing the width of the tie as styles changed. The tie is about 3 1/16 inches in width at its widest point, and 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 inches are more typical widths for classic forties ties.

Not to mention that the tie, when unfolded in back, has fully an inch and 3/4 of fabric that is folded under, and which narrows rapidly, such that merely 4 inches up the tie, there is barely half an inch of folded under fabric. If this tie were unsewn in back, and refolded, the wide end could be made to flare out in a fashion equally as dramatic as is seen on the narrow end, and I can't help but wonder if this was the tie's original shape.

There is enough fabric to make it almost 5 1/2 inches in width, and although I have never found a tie that wide in my personal collecting, I have seen one or two zoot suit ties that are even wider. So it is presumably not impossible to imagine, although I really don't know for sure. I wish someone from that time period could confirm to me whether or not it was customary to "cut down" wide ties through refolding, resewing, etc. to make them conform to a later less flamboyant cut.

OK, that's just about enough discussion of this tie, I think. Just one last detail, the label. One label is sewn into the small end, and it reads as follows:

Jacquard Crepe
Exclusive fabric
Resilient construction

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tiny Diamond Pairs -- Thirties

Here's the other thirties era tie that I picked up while on vacation. It's amazing to me how many of the ties from that era I have that are basically some variation on maroon. The one this resembles the most closely is my entry from just a few weeks ago, titled Thirties Polka Dots.

This one isn't quite the same, of course, just similar. This one has pairs of dot-like objects, except that when viewed closely, they aren't really dots. They're more diamond shaped. The pairs alternate two colors, shiny silver, and shiny maroon, of a lighter hue than the background. And the background fabric itself is covered in little tiny dots of the same silver color as half the diamonds.

Here are the other thirties ties with maroon as their primary color focus:
Although that last one in the list was previously labeled as the last from the thirties, I think this entry really is, at least for now, or until I find another for my collection. So what to scan and blog next week? Luckily I don't have to decide now. So until then . . .

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Black and Silver

My vacation in Santa Cruz, California, did have a positive side to it from the standpoint of this blog, to kind of match the negative side of causing a hiatus in posting. That positive side was our expedition one afternoon into several vintage clothing and antique shops, plus a visit to the local Goodwill.

The result? This tie, and another, both of thirties vintage, plus one forties specimen, and one skinny fifties/sixties tie that I decided to buy. None of those skinny ties have been featured on the blog as yet, but one of these days I'll get around to them, perhaps when I've exhausted my collection of the wider ones I prefer.

This is quite a nice thirties example, fairly striking in its monochromatic color and design. That is, the color scheme is monochromatic, not necessarily the design. What would that mean, monochromatic design, anyway?

What's nice about the design is that while it features sort of a traditional striped pattern, the stripes themselves are not all that typical. Instead, they are kind of wavy, looking like ripples in water or ice, or something. The fabric is so typical of thirties ties, with the pattern and design brocaded directly into it, creating a richly ornamental effect.

The tie has two labels sewn into the small end of the tie, and shown in the scan, although I suspect they are almost impossible to read. Frankly, the store label is almost impossible to read with the tie held in the hand. The letters have are faded and worn with age. the font is a little ornate, making it more difficult to make out. It appears to say "Ziecrach's." Under that, the city is plain: "Watsonville, Ca."

The second label, the manufacturer's label, reads "Hollyvogue" and "Registered." Which presumably means that "Hollyvogue" is a registered trademark. I have posted three previous Hollyvogue ties. You can use the search box at the top of the blog to locate them, but I can provide links here, as well. They are dated November 12, 2006; August 6, 2006; and May 28, 2006. It's obviously a California brand.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dark Green and Black

First off, I should probably apologize for my three weeks of absence here on the vintage tie blog. But everyone has to have a vacation once in a while. Even though only one of the weeks I was gone was really vacation.

So, for anyone interested enough to read this entry, the weekend of June 22 I was back in Tillamook, Oregon, where I lived for several years in the first part of the current decade. I played an organ dedication recital at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, where I served as organist from 2002-2004. That was fun, but also a lot of hard work.

The following weekend, June 29, found us in Anaheim, California, attending the American Library Association's annual conference for a week. The week following that, which included last Sunday, July 6, was the only "real" vacation in there. We spent that week in the Santa Cruz area, in California, visiting Arline's sister Kathy and husband Ken.

Relaxing, sleeping in, walking along the beach, and among the redwoods, making music with Kathy, who is an accomplished pianist and harpist--these were some of the vacation activities we indulged in. But now I'm back.

So what about this tie. I suspect it won't show up very well on computer monitor screens. It is a very rich fabric, dark dark green and black. It appears to be of 1930's vintage, as the construction is very like all of my other ties from that era. Off-centered seaming in the back, and with the patterning woven into the fabric itself.

There is one label sewn into the small end of the tie, and visible in the scan. The label reads:
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In the Pink for Father's Day

I have one more thirties tie to post, but I have to take a break this week to celebrate Father's Day instead. Since, of course, ties are inextricably associated with the occasion, as the standard gift of choice. NPR even did a segment this morning on how fewer and fewer men wear ties to work anymore, and consequently how fewer and fewer ties are purchased as Father's Day gifts.

I'm not a father, but on this day I always think about and remember my own father and in this case, my father-in-law, whose tie this was. He, like my father, is deceased, but I honor his memory today. He was like a musical father to me. My own Dad had no interest in music, thought it was a waste of time.

But Herb Moore, my wife's father, was a fine amateur musician himself. He sang (basso), directed choirs, played the piano, and in earlier years, the tuba and cello. He was a music major in college, although he never completed a music degree. He taught music for a time, before he opted to go back to school and become an optometrist.

Even after assuming his professional career in that field, he continued to be active musically, as a church musician, much like myself. When I first met him, he was living in Houston, Texas, and we had a fine time visiting the Visser Rowland pipe organ factory (now Visser Organs) located in the Houston area, and visiting and playing some of the fine pipe organs in Houston and the surrounding area. He had taken up the organ fairly late in life, and we enjoyed sharing the joys of playing together.

But back to the tie. It's a real beauty! A gloriously gorgeous shade of pink, showing that pink is great for men, especially on a tie! It has a wonderful brocade woven into the fabric, which shows best on the scan of the small end, pointing in an upward direction. It has all of the characteristics of a classic 40's era tie, except for one, it's width.

So, the only possible downside to this tie, if there is one, is its lack of width. It's fairly narrow, a hair under 2 3/4 inches at its widest. Which suggests to me that it comes from the early fifties, rather than the forties, and probably represents the transition period between the gregarious 40's ties, and the more conservative narrow ties that prevailed through much of the fifties and sixties.

The tie has a label, printed directly into the fabric, right at the bottom of the large end inside. So close to the bottom, in fact, that part of the label is folded over, and is almost sewn into the lining. It reads, in a kind of hand-written style, as follows:

An Artist Original
© by Cutter

At least, I think that's the name. It could possibly be Cullen or Culler, but I think the two tall letters are crossed, as "t's" would be. Strangely, way up near the middle, very close, in fact, is another printed in label, which simply has the enigmatic number "3723" repeated twice, one above the other. I have no idea of the significance of this. Anyone with clues about either the number or the artist, please let me know!

And to all fathers out there, let me wish you a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Thirties Tulips

Here's another thirties beauty that I missed the first time around. Or I may have acquired it since then, I'm not sure.

These stylized tulips appear in a lush chocolate brown with copper highlights on the petals, against a richly brocaded, almost iridescent background of ice blue stripes overlaid on a background of the brown, which shows through the edges of the stripes.

Brown seems an odd color for flowers, but they are more stylized than real, so I suppose the color doesn't matter all that much.

The tie has one label, which is sewed into the small end of the tie, which I've shown in the scan. It reads
SN Cravats
I'm sorry no tie got posted last week. For a church musician, such as myself, sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the weekend to get things done. I'm writing these words at almost half past ten on Sunday evening, when I should be in, or at least heading for, bed.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thirties Polka Dots

Back in early 2007, when I featured ties from the thirties (or ties that I have some reason to believe are from the thirties), I thought I had shown them all. All of them in my collection. But I missed at least two. So I'm going to include them now, to go along with the new one I acquired and presented a couple of weeks ago.

To see the earlier thirties, era ties on this blog, visit the early months of 2007. Here are some links:
There was only one thirties tie posted in April, though, and since the month will be displayed in reverse order (last first), you'll have to scroll to the end of the month to see that final thirties-era tie.

OK, so what about this one? It's kind of plain on the surface. Nothing really fancy. But when you look closer, there is an elaborate and ornate design that close up, provides a sense of richness and opulence not at all visible from a distance.

Small embroidered polka dots in alternating white and red are scattered evenly over a maroon background that is not solid. Instead, there are curvy lines embedded in the fabric, barely visible in the scan, that come off the edge of the tie from the left, make sweeping 90 degree turns heading directly up the tie, then turn again to run horizontally across the tie, and then up again. Each segment between turns is about an inch in length, and the lines run parallel to each other across the surface of the tie.

There is a label printed directly into the fabric of the lining of the tie, inside the large end. It reads as follows:

Constructed of
high grade rayon
with an inner lining
insuring long wear
good tying qualities.

I've reproduced the line breaks in the original label, but not the actual look, of course. The letters are all upper case, and the "Haband Cravat" portion is a much larger font size than the rest. And there is an elaborate heraldic style crest separating the "Haband Cravat" text from the rest.

All in all, typical of 1930-era ties. Unprepossessing in its appearance, until you take a closer look, upon which it shows a much more elaborate design than one's initial impression.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another from the thirties

No tie got blogged last weekend. No time. My apologies to anyone who cared enough to check the blog.

I believe I've exhausted any and all ties in my vintage collection that depict actual things from the real world. So now we're back to abstract designs of one sort or another.

Back in 2007, to kick off my second year of blogging ties, I featured my somewhat limited collection of thirties-era ties. I say somewhat limited because at that time I only found twelve ties to post that I believed to have originated in that decade.

Now I'm presenting another, which I have acquired at some point since those ties were featured here on the blog. In fact, this is a fairly recent acquisition, although I don't remember for sure if it turned up this year, or sometime last year. My wife found it at a thrift shop somewhere, and acquired it for me.

I'm not sure how well the colors will show up in the scan, on a computer screen. It appears somewhat dull at first glance, but a closer look reveals the usual glamor associated with ties from this ear. The pattern on the tie is woven directly into the fabric in a kind of embroidery manner. And the lighter colors gleam and glisten in the light.

I'm highly suspicious of the shape and width of this tie. It does not appear even in width as you descend toward the point, actually narrowing slightly, which is not normal. Looking inside, there is about an inch of fabric tucked in above the point. This tucked portion narrows dramatically as it ascends. If one were to unstitch the tie, and refold and repress it, utilizing this tucked in portion, the tie could be made to have a dramatic flare in width at the end, just prior to the pointing in at the bottom. I suspect it may have been like that originally.

The tie has one extant label sewn into the back of the short end which reads simply "Resilient Construction."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Lyre on Navy Blue Background

When I was presenting the vintage musical ties in my collection, I completely forgot about this one, and it's probably the best of all! Yesterday I was looking for a musical tie to wear to church, and amongst all my modern ones, I came across this vintage beauty, always one of my favorites, and suddenly realized I hadn't put it up here on the blog. A major oversight.

I think that when I get ready to post next week, I may post-date this entry, so that it is moved into the slot created by my not posting a tie week before last. That way, when folks scroll through the entries, it will fall into place with the other musical ties. But I'll leave it here for now, so that anyone looking for a new entry this week will find it.

The lyre is a symbol of music, and as such, often appeared in hymnals and on other musical publications, used in a symbolical manner. This particular example very likely does not really depict a playable instrument, but is also a symbolic representation.

Note also the elaborate brocade pattern woven into the fabric. I will admit that I adjusted the contrast on the image slightly, to bring out the brocade more clearly. In reality, the brocade is almost exactly the same shade as the rest of the tie fabric, although plainly visible, especially in the right light. It has the effect of changing appearance in the light, so that at one angle the brocade appears lighter (as in the scan), but turned at another angle, the brocade pattern appears darker, and the rest of the tie fabric seems lighter. It creates a VERY rich effect.

The tie has only one label extant, which is printed directly onto or into the fabric on the reverse side of the large end, and it reads somewhat enigmatically "Crecian Art."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stripes with Mozart Music Score

One last music tie before I get back to the more traditional vintage ties. This one belonged to my father-in-law (now deceased), and was a gift to him by friends, as he was a fine amateur musician, played piano, sang, directed choirs, and in his later years, avidly took up the organ.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect it dates from the 1980's, which probably doesn't qualify it as a really truly vintage tie, but then, just how old does something have to be, to be considered vintage? The term is mostly used to apply to grapes and the wine made from them. It is also used to refer to cigars (or rather, the tobacco from which they are made) and coffee.

However, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary also provides this more general definition as a second meaning: "referring to something from the past of high quality."

This tie may well be 25 or more years old, which certainly makes it from the past. Whether or not it is of high quality, could, I suppose, be subject to opinion. The tie's labels could provide some bearing on this topic. The first label, on the back of the wide end, and provided in the form of a loop for securing the small end, reads

Made in U.S.A.

The second label, sewn into the bottom of the small end, reads "PINTAIL" on the front, and provides the composition of the fabric on the back: "80% Polyester, 20% Silk." Now there are those who would say that any tie made from polyester, or mostly polyester, as in this case, cannot, by definition, be of high quality. I do admit to being of the school that prefers natural fabrics to artificial. But sometimes, in ties, we have to relax those standards a bit, as some very fine designers have deigned on occasion, to put their stamp on polyester fabric.

Be that as it may, one can argue for the quality of this tie from another direction entirely. What about the music that is printed on the tie? It may be difficult to decipher from the scanned image, but holding the tie in my hand, I can read the score without difficulty. It represents the top part from the first couple of bars from one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most lyrical piano sonatas, the Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331. You can see those same two bars, and listen to the entire movement on Wikipedia.

Now THERE'S quality for you, no questions asked! Not the particular performance captured on Wikipedia, necessarily, but the music itself, intrinsically.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vintage Gramophones

Continuing the musical theme (pun unintentionally intended) from the past two postings, here is a tie depicting numerous identical vintage style gramophones on a deeply brilliant green background.

I'm not sure what the age of this tie is, or what period it comes from. It is about the right width, and shares some characteristics similar to the fabric of the thirties, but I'm almost certain it's later. If it were thirties era, the seam in the back (not shown in this scan; you'll have to take my word for it) would be significantly off center, but this one isn't. All the thirties ties I posted back in the first few months of 2006, have off center seams in the back.

It's not really quite wide enough, or flashy enough, to be from the forties, and this type of repeated image pattern is not typical of that period either, although I won't say it never occurs.

So is it early fifties? Could be. Or maybe sixties, when the narrow ties were on their way out and wider ones coming back in. Or it could even be from the eighties, when ties were getting narrower and more conservative again.

The tie has an interesting label which reads as follows:

100% Acetate
RN 19970

Rhodia, according to a July 12, 2000 press release is

one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, contributes to improving the quality of life by developing value-added products, services and solutions for the beauty, clothing, foodstuffs and healthcare markets as well as for the environment, transport and manufacturing industries. [text color emphasis added]

I don't know if this is the same Rhodia referred to on the tie label, but it seems not unlikely. If anyone has a light to shed on the possible relationship between this tie's fabric and the Rhodia company, or any information that would lead to a more definitive determination of the age of this tie, please share it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Music Staff with Clarinet

No tie got posted last week. We were out of town, on a family beach house weekend, down in Lincoln City, Oregon, and didn't get back until quite late Sunday evening. So no time to post.

This is the second promised hand-painted tie depicting musical themes. In this case, a curvaceous music staff flows down the tie with a treble cleff and key signature of two sharps (D Major or B Minor, take your pick) with a clarinet imposed upon the musical staff, surrounded by a flurry of eighth and sixteenth notes, some on the staff, but more flying loosely about.

The tie is hand-painted on a loosely knit, almost linen-like weave fabric. My wife thinks it's wool, but she's not sure, nor am I. The tie has one label, partially depicted in the scan. The label reads as follows (which may give some hint about the fabric):

Made of
Imported Priestley's
*Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

So what kind of fabric is "Imported Priestley's Nor-East Non-Crush? Nowadays, we'd assume non-crush meant something made of polyester, but I'm not sure it had been invented when this tie was made. And the tie isn't even remotely like other rayon ties of the period. It's not shiny silk-like, but coarse, linen-like.

But why am I blathering on about the fabric? The hand-painted image is what makes the tie so great, and fun to wear!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Musical Instruments

I think we're nearing the end of my series of ties depicting real things. This is the first of two hand-painted ties featuring musical images. This one has four musical instruments painted on it, along with three small pieces of musical staff and notes.

The instruments appear to be, starting at the top, a saxophone, a soprano sax, or perhaps a clarinet, a trumpet or cornet, and finally, a euphonium or baritone, perhaps a tuba.

The images on the tie are quite clearly hand-painted, although this is much more obvious with the tie in hand, probably, than in the scan. The paint is thick, and rough to the touch, raised above the surface of the tie.

The tie has one label, sewn into the small end, and partially visible in the scan. It reads as follows:

Reg. U.S Pat. Off.
Rayon Cravats

Next week, another hand-painted musical-themed tie, and then, I'm afraid I'll probably be at the end of the series depicting items from real life, unless I find another that I'm not currently aware of.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Birds of a Feather

No tie got posted last week, sorry. A combination of factors conspired against me. First, it was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, and one of the busiest times in the life of a church musician such as myself. Second, I was in the process coming down with a nasty cold, which still has me coughing and hacking and blowing, etc.

I did get this tie scanned last Sunday, I just didn't manage to find the time or energy to get it posted, and to write about it. Enough with the excuses, and on with the tie!

This is another truly unusual tie, in that, of the birds of paradise featured on it, the primary one, the largest one, is made with real bird feathers pasted on. Not only does this tie depict things from the real word, i.e., birds, it depicts them with real feathers.

Unfortunately, the bird is currently missing one yet longer tail feather, which fell off years ago. I still have the missing feather stored away in a box somewhere, and if I ever come across it, I plan to glue it back on, but I haven't seen that box or its contents in years. I'm sure it's out in my garage somewhere, along with dozens of other boxes of stuff that we haven't opened in ages, and which my wife would love to dispose of (not the feather, per se, but the boxes of stuff).

This tie is one of a pair that were gifted to me by one of my high school academy roommates. The other one was this Hawaiian Gardens tie posted back in June, 2006. The tie has two labels sewn together into the small end of the tie, and shown in the scan, if you can twist your head to the correct angle to make them out. Wait! Don't try to tie yourself (or at least your neck) into a pretzel. I'll transcribe them for you. They both appear to be manufacturer's labels. Graced with the tiny image of a mountain and trees, the first one reads:
Timberline Cravats
while the second one reads, somewhat enigmatically (or at least ungrammatically):
acetate & rayon
It's worth mentioning that Timberline Lodge is a famous ski resort located up on the slopes of Mt. Hood, near Portland, Oregon. I don't know if this tie was designed or manufactured in Oregon or not, but it certainly has a local-sounding brand name! I say local, because even though I currently live in neighboring Washington, I am a native Oregonian, and remain loyal to my home state and mountain. For many (if not most) Oregonians, Mt. Hood is "THE mountain." If I had more time, or were feeling more energetic, I'd scan and post a closeup of the mountain image on the label, just so you could see it better. If you're trying to see it, it's right about the big letter "T" in Timberline.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lilly Dache "le repos"

Here is a truly interesting and unique tie from famous designer Lilly Daché. The famous French/American designer, who lived from 1898 to 1989, was most well known as a milliner, a hat designer, but she also designed other accessories, and eventually dresses, and men's accessories, like ties.

I'm not sure the design of this tie really fits in my current theme of ties depicting "real things" as the images on the tie may not be all that realistic. But they are at least anthropomorphic. Some of them resemble African masks, and the reposing figures near the top and bottom of the design remind me at least a little of one of Henry Moore's reclining figure sculptures.

I've created a composite second image showing the Lilly Daché logo which is located on the face of the tie itself, near the bottom, and the various labels,. One of the labels, printed directly into the fabric of the tie, and located on the reverse of the large end, lists the name of the design, "le repos" meaning "the rest" or "the repose."

The other two labels are sewn in. The Lily Daché label is sewn onto the reverse side of the large end, just up from the printed label described above. It has the word "soie" (French for silk) printed vertically along the left side. Then the word "Original" in a fancy script, followed by "Lilly Dache" with "Paris - New York" along the bottom.

The other, the seller's label, is sewn into the small end of the tie. It reads "Meier & Frank Co. Portland, Oregon."

This is one of my favorite vintage ties, due to its unique design. However, it is definitely showing its age, and is fraying quite a bit along the bottom edge. Thus, I allow myself the pleasure of wearing it only rarely.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tropical Getaway

Continuing the theme of ties depicting real things, here is a tie showing some tropical getaway, replete with potted palms. The detail isn't really that great, so I can't say for sure if the tie is depicting a scene in the Bahamas, or Mexico, or some other Central American nation, or just southern California or Florida. Take your pick, I guess.

In addition to the tiled villa in front of which those potted palms are flourishing, the tie separately depicts a group of three palm trees that are apparently growing in the earth as they should.

Some might think I should have saved this tie for the summer, but no, a glimpse of tropical paradise should be a morale booster for those of us still stuck in winter. Not that I personally, am that interested in traveling to tropical climes. I'd never be a "snowbird," as we refer to those folks who, like the birds, head south for the winter. (Believe it or not, there's even a Wikipedia article on the topic of "Snowbirds!"

I did use some of my other vintage tropical ties to celebrate the summer, but this one is fitting into my current theme of ties depicting real things. Or at least things that could theoretically be real. Here's a list of past tropical images. I'm not sure why I didn't include this one at the time, but it's possible I didn't own it yet then. Either that, or I had forgotten about it.

Well, that's probably about enough rambling on for this week. This tie has one label, sewn onto the large end of the tie (more commonly, labels are sewn into the small end). The label reads:

*Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.

The word "Wembley," interestingly, is reverse stitched in white inside a bright red butterfly-shaped bit of embroidery. If I had more time, I'd scan a copy, but my list of other things that need to yet be accomplished this Sunday evening is still long. Until next time . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Castle and Fleur-de-Lis

This tie depicts the fairy tale style castle where Romeo and Juliet (from two weeks ago) or any other star-crossed lovers could appropriately live their life of happily ever after, should they be so fortunate. Likewise, the demoiselle from a month ago could well be on her way to a castle like this, once she steps back into her fine equipage.

It's a definitely a Walt Disney style castle, or perhaps one from the more romanticized versions of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

So one could argue over whether this tie is truly depicting things from the real world, since the Bavarian Castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein, is probably the only real world castle that resembles this romantic image with any degree of accuracy, and even this castle is more the result of a dream world, than reality. You can read the sad history of King Ludwig II of Bavaria on the castle's web site.

But we all WANT castles like this to exist, and they do in our imagination, and in the imaginations of many a writer of fairy tales and fantasy worlds, alternate realities galore.

Another interesting feature on this tie is the appearance of the symbolic Fleur-de-lis. This is a real version of the Fleur-de-lis symbol, not a vaguely heraldic pseudo-version, such as those on the ties I featured back in April, May and June of last year.

This tie also has an unusual brocade effect woven into the fabric. The brocade alternates broad stripes that run at a 45 degree angle across the tie, sloping from right to left. Every other stripe is plain and smooth, alternating with stripes that have a finely woven circular pattern, with a dot in the center of each.

On the scan you may only be able to see those central dots. Try clicking on the image to get a larger view, to see if the brocade becomes more visible that way.

This tie has two interesting labels. One is printed directly onto the fabric of the tie, and reads "Silhouette" inside a "3-D" box. The other is a sewn-in label which reads
Sun Valley
Tie of Ties
I've scanned an image of the two labels, and posted it here for your edification or entertainment, as the case may be.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hearts for Valentine's Day

Hopefully varying only slightly from the current theme of ties that depict real things, I present in honor of Valentine's Day just past, this vintage tie depicting red and white hearts on a field of navy blue. I suggest that this varies slightly from the theme because real hearts are not, or course, heart shaped.

But this is the only vintage tie in my collection that seems directly related to Valentine's Day, although last week's star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, come close.

These hearts, in red and white, and with their decorative interior scrollwork designs, remind me, somehow of Alice in Wonderland, and the Queen of Hearts, the Knave of Hearts, and all. "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!"

Well, that's not a very appropriate sentiment for Valentine's Day. Sorry.

I wore this tie to work on the day BEFORE Valentine's Day, because I have several modern ties featuring hearts, and one of them is considerably more dramatic than this one, and thus made the cut for wearing on Valentine's Day proper. The others, including this one, had to settle for the other days during the week in which Valentine's Day fell.

I think I'm rambling, so I'll sign off. This tie unfortunately has no labels to record, so that's it until next week, when we'll resume more directly the theme of ties depicting real things (as opposed to ties merely decorated with patterns or abstract designs).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Romeo and Juliet

Continuing the theme of ties that depict people and things; images from the real world, real or imagined, I call this week's tie Romeo and Juliet, since he is reaching up to her on the balcony at night, and then, below, they are depicted together, embracing.

Sometimes I refer to it as my "Mozart" tie, since the man appears bewigged and costumed as was the style in the Mozart era. But I think Romeo and Juliet is probably a more accurate description. In this tie, at least, we have them before the tragic finale to their story. Here, at least, they appear to be living happily ever after, or enjoying each other's company, for the time being, at least.

I tried an experiment with this tie, and it probably wasn't all that successful. I had to scan the tie in two pieces, like last week, but this week, I pulled the two pieces into my image editing software, and attempted to stitch the two together. That part of the process was relatively successful. I wasn't able to get them to match up exactly, but close enough for government work, as the expression goes.

But when I uploaded the image, it appears much narrower than usual, and I'm not really sure why. I always scan my ties at 300 DPI, then pull them into the image editing software, and resize them to 400 pixels wide before saving them in JPEG format for uploading to the blog. This image is saved to 400 pixels in width, just like all the others, so why is it appearing so much narrower? I'm guessing it is because it is so much longer (taller) than the others. Blogger probably has a limit on the amount of space it will allow an image to fill, and when it compresses this one vertically, that makes it narrower as well.

To see the tie better, just click on it, and it should come up in your browser window all by itself, but considerably enlarged. So large that you'll have to scroll up and down to see the various parts of it. But at least, you'll be able to see the details much more clearly there. You'll also probably notice a faint line of color change right about at Romeo's waist, which is where the two halves were stitched together.

Also please take a look at the very bottom of the tie, where there appears a small carriage with the letters "SM" in script between the wheels. I suspect that this is the designer's logo, but I'm not savvy enough to recognize it. I did some casual Google searching, both in the regular index, and in images, but couldn't come up with anything. So if anyone recognizes this logo, if indeed, that's what it is, please let me know. There are no labels in the tie.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dali Celbrates 100th Vintage Ties Posting

To celebrate 100 Vintage Ties blog entries, and my third year blogging ties, I can't resist showing off my pièce de résistance, the crème de la crème, the ne plus ultra, the apex, the acme, if not the epitome and pinnacle of my vintage tie collection, namely my Salvador Dali specimen.

Every vintage tile collector covets a Salvador Dali tie, and they sell quite frequently on eBay, as there were apparently dozens of designs made with the Dali signature on them. (According to expert collector Ron Sparks, see below, there were 43 different Dali designs, although he doesn't cite a source for that number.)

Nevertheless, they are some of the most expensive ties to buy in that venue, far too pricey for my pocketbook. I think the least I've ever seen one go for is $65, and most of them go for over $100.00, some occasionally are listed as high as $250, although I didn't keep track of whether they actually sold or not. The prices may be coming down slightly these days, as more and more Dali ties seem to keep coming on the eBay market.

But I found mine the old-fashioned way! It was on a rack of used ties in a second-hand clothing store, where the proprietors obviously had no clue about what they had.

When I bought it, I didn't even know that Salvador Dali HAD designed ties, and although I saw the stylized Dali signature on it right away, I didn't know for sure if it was real or not. That is, I didn't know if it referred to the REAL Dali, namely Salvador Dali. It wasn't until several years later, when I bought (or someone gave me) a copy of the book Fit to Be Tied: Vintage Ties of the Forties and Early Fifities by Rod Dyer, Ron Spark, and Steve Sakai, and I found several images of Dali ties in the book, that I was able to confirm that I had a genuine Dali, too.

The book is a must have for any vintage tie fan. Full of beautiful full-color pictures of vintage ties from the collection of Dr. Ronald P. Spark, listed as one of the authors, it provides the best documentation for the era's ties of which I'm aware. One of the ties I own appears on the cover--well, it's not MY tie, per se, but a picture of the same tie design which Dr. Spark obviously owns as well.

But none of the Dali designs depicted in the book is mine, and in fact, I've only ever seen my design elsewhere one time, when a different colored version of it appeared on eBay. I thought I saved a copy of that image, and/or obtained one from the K.N.O.T. website, but I can't currently locate it on my hard drive, or on the K.N.O.T site. If it turns up, I'll add it to this post later.

So what to say about the tie itself? It has the title "Extravaganza," printed on the inside of the wide end of the tie. See the closeup image provided. You'll have to look closely. The word is written in pale blue letters on the dark blue background, vertically up the left side of the tie, to the immediate right of the pale blue spear-shaped section that points up along the lower left side of the image with the label on it. Look carefully, and you'll spot it.

Looking at the Extravaganza design itself, one sees (on the second image nearest the bottom of the tie) a stylized image of a woman in red, with her arms reaching up above her head. She is ensconced in the middle of a red ring that is filled with floral excrescences eked out in shades of white. Further up the tie (you'll have to look at the first image) you see a similar shaped object decked out in the same colors, only this one is a rose, not a woman.

So is Dali making a not-so-subtle equation of a woman with a beautiful flower, specifically a rose? Is he equating womanhood with the beauty of a flower? Ephemeral, etc.? We are all mortal, men and women alike, of course, and whatever beauty or other virtues we may have are indeed transitory.

I'll leave the rest of the symbolism up to the individual interpretation of whoever is reading this, or looking at the images. Your comments are naturally welcome.

Finally, the last image shows the stylized Dali signature in a more closeup view. Every vintage Dali tie I've seen pictures of has the signature in exactly this same position on the tie. The tie has one sewed in label which reads:
made and styled in

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Demoiselle, Horse and Carriage

Well, I've been majorly deleterious about posting any ties in this new year, 2008. Which is a fancy way of saying I've been absent for a few weeks. Sorry about that. It's no way to kick off a new year, but my Sunday's have been pretty hectic, and there just hasn't been any chance to post until now.

I started to work on a very special post a couple of weeks ago, but didn't have time to finish it, and now I'm going to save it for next week. First, let me congratulate my friend and fellow tie blogger, Michael, over at Knot a Blog, on having recently blogged his 500th tie!

Since he blogs the ties he wears, day in and day out, he's achieved this milestone years before I will. I only blog once a week, and beginning my third year of blogging am about to reach the venerable century mark, namely, this is my 99th entry, and for the 100th entry next week, I'm saving that something special that I already mentioned in the previous paragraph.

So what about this fine tie? It's the first of what will be a series of representational art on ties. I don't know how many I'll present, but I'm going to show off some ties with recognizable objects on them for at least a few entries. This one shows a (presumably) lovely (presumably) young demoiselle, standing on the cobblestones, having just alighted from her fashionable carriage. She looks like a character right out of an Alexandre Dumas novel, or perhaps she's a Spanish grandee, perhaps even a grande dame.

Note also the weeping willow foliage over her head, which adds to the ambiance of the scene.

This tie has no sewed in labels, but has another of those "Haband" labels printed directly onto the fabric, inside a map of the United States, quite similar to the one on the op art tie I showed back in November.

This tie was half of a two-tie lot I purchased a few months ago on eBay. The other half of the lot was the one I called Red and Blue Icicle Swirls when I posted it back in August.