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.

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