Sunday, May 23, 2010

Red Blobs

Blobs, that's not a very attractive name for this tie's design, but it's the best I could come up with. I mean, this tie is covered with blobs on several levels. There are big red and maroon blobs all over the tie, and those blobs are filled with smaller blobs.

Blob is an interesting word. Change one letter, and you've got blog, which is the medium in which I'm writing. According to one definition I read on the web, a blob is "an indistinct, shapeless form." So maybe these aren't blobs at all, since they do have shape. Most of them are at least vaguely circular in shape.

And they are fairly distinguishable. You can tell where each blob (if that's even what they are) begins and ends. So if they aren't blobs, what are they? Spots? Who cares? Let's talk about the tie, which frankly, is more interesting than those blobby spots that cover it.

What era is this tie from? I'm thinking it might be from the thirties, but frankly, I'm not sure. Why thirties? Because it's thinly constructed, with a very narrow seam around the edges, and no lining. And it's about the right width.

But, the pattern is NOT woven directly into the fabric, as most of my thirties ties are. And the construction on the back is almost (not quite) centered, not overlapping, or off centered like so many thirties ties. The small end is somewhat off centered, but the large end is only slightly so.

There are two labels, which provide some clues that could possibly date the tie more definitively. The first one is the seller's label, which reads:

Herbert Men's Shops
Stores All Over Town
The second label is presumably the manufacturer's label, which reads:

"Beau Brummell"
Ties the best
Made by Hand

Trademark reg.
U.S. Patent 1447090
A little Google searching on Herbert Men's Shops found ads listing them in a 1954 Life magazine, via Google Books, and a story about one located in Downer's Grove, Illinois, closing. The story is dated Sept. 13, 2007, but that particular Herbert Men's Shop opened in 1940. There are lots of other hits, which I don't have time to follow up on now.

The fact that a particular example of this men's clothing store chain opened in 1940 doesn't mean that others in the chain weren't open in the thirties. More research is needed. But I think it is safe to say that if this particular tie isn't from the thirties, then it is probably from the forties, or possibly even the fifties. One could check the patent number, and see when it was issued. That would give a "can't be earlier than" date for the tie.

Well, that's more than enough about this tie for today. I have places to go, things to do, chores to complete. See you later . . .

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Matched Pair -- Maroon and Violet

Here are a matched pair of slightly plainer patterned thirties era ties. And what is especially unique about these is that one of them at least, the purplish one, has apparently never been worn, since it still has the original packaging label on it.

The other one is frankly in better condition, however. The purple one appears to be faded, most likely from exposure to sunlight. You can see that the wide end of the tie, facing toward the top of the picture, fades toward a much lighter shade of color.

The label has a top hat, and a cane, depicted against a city skyline. The top hat itself has the words "Smart Style" on it. The center band of the label reads "Schulco Brand" and below, the label says "Selected Fabrics For Longer Wear." At the bottom left, across the end of the cane, is an eschutcheon device with the letter "S," presumably for "Schulco" on it. The ties have no other labels attached inside or out, just this one.

The ties themselves are classic conservative thirties design. The design is woven directly into the fabric, and the construction is very off-centered in back (not visible in the scan. The design itself is what I'm calling conservative, consisting as it does of thin stripes criss-crossing at 45 degree angles. in the scan you have to look closely to see the second set of stripes on each tie, the primary ones being considerably more prominent.

The bright dots on each tie are where the stripes intersect. On the purple tie, some of the paired dots are bright red, not really visible in the scan. Others are silver, and some are a pale blue. On the marroon tie, the paired dots are bright green, silver again, and the same marroon as the rest of the tie.

What's fun about these, of course, is having a matched pair. Many ties through the decades have been made with the same exact pattern in various colors, but these are more difficult to find and collect for historical ties, since rarely did one individual buy more than one color at a time. There are other examples here on the blog, but I don't have time today to link to them all.