Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad's Mums

In honor of Father's Day, I present this tie, the last of the ties (to be posted here) that belonged to my Dad. When I first became interested in vintage ties, back when I was still in high school, I went to my Dad and asked him if he had any old ties. Sure enough, he had a nice little collection of ties from the forties, some of them quite splendid, indeed.

Unfortunately, some of them were in the old farmhouse when it burned to the ground a year or two later, just before I graduated. But I have the three that survived, and this is the final one to be posted. The two earlier examples are Dad's Red and Blue Paisely and Feathers for Father's Day.

This one is just as attractive as the other two. I'm sorry that I had to scan it with the pointed large end of the tie off the scanner bed, but it was necessary in order to get the entire bouquet of carnations into the picture.

Yes, I know I called this post "Dad's Mums," which would imply crysthanthemums, but these are more likely supposed to be carnations. I just couldn't resist the wordplay supplied by that title!

My Dad's been gone for several years now, and my Mom can't keep up with the old place anymore. So she put it on the market, and now it has sold. This very weekend, she's moving away, to live closer to my one of my sisters. That in itself is difficult to deal with emotionally. My folks moved to that little farm (13 1/2 acres, more or less) when I was only three, going on four years old. That was over fifty years ago! And that's been the place I've thought of as "home" for all these years, the place I've always gone back to. And now it will be in someone else's hands. Kind of a tough way to celebrate Father's Day! But it was inevitable; we knew it was coming, and it's really only a kind of ironic coincidence that it happened on Father's Day.

But back to the tie. It has one extant label, sewn sideways into the short end of the tie, which reads:

Resilient construction
Towncraft Deluxe Cravat
Fabric loomed in U.S.A.

The tie is made of that wonderful shiny, silky, slippery fabric so common to the era, probably rayon. It doesn't have a brocade, but the design itself creates almost the effect of one, with the infinitude of small tine white striped lines that flow down the silvery colored portion of the tie's surface.

At the top end of the scan, you can just barely see where the fabric turns solid red, which would have had the effect of making the knot solid red in color, matching the featured slice of red that splays out across the center of the tie, and the two red carnations, which give the tie its dash of brilliance.

Looking at this tie, holding it in my hand, reminds me once again of my own father, bringing back many memories.

Happy Father's Day to dads everywhere!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Purple with Orange Birds

Last week's post featured pheasants in the brocade. This tie unfortunately has no brocade, but it also features birds, this time right on the tie, not hidden in the background.

What kind of birds they are, I'm not exactly sure, not being an expert birder or anything. But they look like fairly common ordinary type birds. At first glance, I thought they might be swallows, and the wing positions suggest swallows swooping, but the birds are a bit too plump to be swallows. They may not be realistic attempts to portray any particular species of bird, but may just be generic birds, who knows.

This is a gorgeous tie, with its combination of purple and orange, and with the background of branches, over which the birds are swooping and fluttering, indicate by the swirling movement lines connecting them. It and last week's "Pleasant Pheasant Brocade" exemplar came together in the same eBay purchase, the two of them sold as one lot.

There are two extant labels on this tie, sewn into the large end of the tie, rather than the small end, as is more typical. The first label is the seller's label, and it reads:

Goldstein-Migel Co
Waco, Texas

The second label is the manufacturer's label, and it reads:

California Classics
Made in California

As such, it joins four other Hollyvogue tie postings on the blog:
The last of those posts talks a bit about the Hollyvogue brand, and provides a link to the current Hollyvogue web site.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Pleasant Pheasant Brocade

Now here's an interesting tie. Also a relatively recent eBay acquisition. On the surface, what you see is a kind of shimmering stripes of orangey brown and tan, fading into one another, and angled from left to right at about a 45 degree angle.

Right about midway up the tie (it looks higher on the scan, due to the limited range of the scanner, which can only handle 8 1/2 by 11 inch images), is a patterned stripe containing a vaguely floral pattern that could almost be Christmas inspired, with leaves of red and green formed into large draped garlands.

But by far more interesting than any of these details is the pattern woven into the brocade, which consists of what appear to me like stylized pheasants, or fancy long-tailed birds of some type. I suppose a more fanciful view might be that they are representations of the fabled Phoenix bird.

I suspected they would be difficult to see in the scan of the tie itself, so I selected one bird out, and saved it as a separate file, enhanced the color and contrast a bit to make it hopefully easier to see, and frankly, to make it slightly closer to the original, at least in my eyes. Of course, I realize that this is very subjective, since I have no way of calibrating my computer monitor accurately, so I don't know if the colors I'm seeing are even close to what you, gentle reader, may see on YOUR screen.

But hopefully the bird, at least, is more clearly visible in this closeup view. So that you can make up your own mind what kind of fowl it represents. These birds literally cover the entire surface of the tie, since they are woven directly into the fabric of it, even under the stripe of darker brown, red and green swags.

The tie has but one label, which is printed directly onto the fabric just a couple or three inches from the bottom of the large end, on the back side. If I hadn't already loaded two separate images, I would have been tempted to scan the label and show it too, but I didn't want to take the time, having some chores yet to do today. The label reads as follows:

Van Heusen

So there you have it!