Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pink and White Buttons--Gray Stripes

This tie looks nicer in the scan than it does in real life, I think. It's my opinion that this was probably a pretty inexpensive tie in its day, and it's probably lucky that it survived this long.

Why do I think it was a cheap tie? Mainly because the fabric is not high quality, no brocade, not even a rich sheen or shine like many of the silk or rayon ties typically have. The fabric has also lost any resiliency it may have once had, and is fairly limp. And the imagery on the tie seems a little crude in its execution, cheaply printed on cheap fabric, is the impression I get.

I also suspect that someone refolded the end of the tie at some point to make it narrower. Most ties of the period have more of a flaring out as the tie nears the end, while this one seems to be of an equal width for much of its length. And believe me, there's plenty of fabric folded over in back to make the end wider. It would definitely be a more dramatic tie, if it were wider as it approached the end.

So now that I'm through dissing the tie, let's talk about what is nice about it. The color scheme is pleasing to the eye. And there is nothing wrong with the design itself, vertical black stripes on a gray background, with pink and white buttons in a row up the center, and grouped in a circle further up the tie.

So, while it may not be one of my favorite vintage ties, it is in my collection, and I present it to you today, for better or for worse. The tie has one label, interestingly sewed onto the fabric on the back of the wide end, rather than the narrow end, as is more frequently the case. The label has only one word: Wembley, together with the "registered" R in a circle emblem. Which makes me wonder just how old this tie is. When did the R in a circle first come into use?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Little Red for Valentine's Day

This is the best I could do for Valentine's Day this year. I only own one vintage tie that relates to this occasion, and I posted it already last year, so you'll have to go back and revisit it, if you want to see a vintage tie with hearts.

So this year, I just hunted over my rack of red ties until I found one that I hadn't already posted, which was difficult, as there are only a few left unscanned and unheralded here on the blog.

I can't say as this tie fits the theme of Valentine's Day very well, but at least the big red block in the center of the tie has a pointed end, like an arrow. Of course, one COULD say that it is a pointed end, like the end of the tie itself. And one could point out that there is another block, gray in color, pointing right back at the red one.

The geometric aspects of this design are actually more reminiscent, in my view, of a tie I posted back in July of 2007, aptly titled "Orange Geometrics." Had I not been stretching things to make a barely justified connection to Valentine's Day, I might have called this tie "Red, Burgundy, and Gray Geometrics."

The tie has no surviving labels, and shows its age with some staining. No brocaded fabric, either, which makes me think it might have been less expensive than some. But the design is very nice, quite striking in its own right. A very nice tie, whether or not it fits the season.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bright as a New Penny

The name of this design, printed on the small end of the tie, tells you what it's all about. "Bright as a New Penny," it reads. So the bright yellow coin-shaped circles are obviously intended to represent the bright and shiny new penny, with the other circular objects looking like less shiny pennies, or just spin-offs from the original bright and shiny one.

Meanwhile, similarly gold-colored lines criss-cross the tie, dividing it into diamond-shaped quadrants. A rich shade of blue provides an appropriate background against which the rich gold colors stand out strikingly.

There you have it. There's not much more that needs to be said about this tie. It has no labels, other than the printed on name of the design. A previous owner seems to have inked his name onto the lining of the small end. "Loewe," it reads. The "L" has a long tail that extends horizontally under the other letters.

I suppose it could be a manufacturer or store label, but it appears hand-written. There is a frayed hole in the label just above that area, which could be where a label was ripped out from having been sewn onto the tie, as they generally are.

This tie shows its age a bit, in that the blue background appears darker in some areas, and may be stained in places. The fabric is less expensive than that of many of my ties from this era, in that there is no brocade, and it has a more matte surface, rather than the shinier, glossy look of what I assume were the more expensive ties. It just looks like a cheaper tie to me. Still, it's nice enough, and the design title, telling us what the designer had in mind, is a nice touch.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Maroon Thingamajigs

This tie reminds me of all my maroon 30's era tie blog entries I linked to back in July of last year. It has a similar color scheme, although I suppose it's a bit wider than most of those, at precisely 4 inches at its widest point.

Further, it lacks other characteristics of those 30's era ties: it does not have lopsided construction on the back side, it is lined (most 30's ties I own aren't) and the design on the tie is not woven directly into the fabric (as most 30's designs are). So, I would have to say that this is more typical of 40's era ties, but that the color scheme is very reminiscent of 30's.

The rich maroon background color is enhanced with a delightful brocade pattern, somewhat unusual, consisting of many dots, formed into larger circular patterns. You can see them fairly well in the scan.

The surface pattern, in pale gray or silver, lined with bluish-gray curving lines, is hard to describe. What are these devices? Unable to come up with an accurate description, I've chosen to cop out and just call them "thingamajigs."

The Wiktionary defines "thingamajig" as "something that one does not know the name of" while Wikipedia cites the term as an example of a "placeholder name," defined as "words that can refer to objects or people whose names are either irrelevant or unknown in the context in which it is being discussed. 'Whatchamacallit' (for objects) and 'Whatshisname' or 'Whatshername' (for men and women, respectively) are defining examples." There, I bet you didn't even know that there was a designated term (placeholder names) for words like that.

OK, enough about that. This tie has two labels sewn into the small end, and visible in the scan. The seller's label reads:

El Paso, Texas

while the second, presumably manufacturer's label reads: