It’s hip to be square: all-Hermes scarf sale, May 17
NEW YORK – Leave it to Hermes to make something perfectly square perfectly chic. On Tuesday, May 17, starting at 1 pm Eastern time, Jasper52 will present a sale titled Exclusive Hermes Scarf Collection, devoted to the fashion must-have that the French firm debuted in 1937. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The Hermes Carre scarf (“carre” translates to “square”) upholds the basic ethos of the company in that it is a simple accessory, exceptionally well-made. But as those who tote Hermes handbags know, Hermes brings some sort of manufacturing magic to the process that elevates the piece beyond a mere luxury accessory. Each scarf is made from silk derived from the cocoons of 250 Mulberry moths cultivated on the company’s own silkworm plantation in Brazil, and each is produced by hand, from silkscreening to stitching the hems to rolling.
Embraced upon its launch by leading society women, the Hermes scarf has proved itself practical as well as beautiful. In 1959, Grace Kelly famously repurposed a scarf as a sling after a wasp stung her on the arm. Queen Elizabeth II of England wears them on her head far more often than she wears the British crown. Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn were also ardent fans of Hermes scarves. Then, as now, all Hermes scarves measure 90 by 90cm (a little more than 35 by 35in).
Hermes has released more than 2,000 scarf designs, roughly 90 of which are represented in the auction. Among the sale highlights are L’Ivresse de L’Infini (The Drunkenness of the Infinite), which was designed in 2011 by Zoe Pauwels. The boldly colored red, pink and white scarf is described as being in mint condition and comes with its original Hermes box. The lot notes also state “The Arfon dictionary of art scarves classifies this scarf as grade 2B – it is rare and highly sought after.” It is estimated at $500-$600.
A lively figurative example, dubbed Orgauphones et Autres Mecaniques (Orgauphones and Other Mechanics) and designed in 1996 by Francoise Faconnet, carries an estimate of $500-$600. According to the Arfon dictionary of art scarves, it qualifies as grade 3B. In addition, the lot notes describe it as being in “excellent condition – Barely used and minimal signs of wear.”
Rounding out the highlights is Perspective Cavaliere (Cavalier Perspective), a 2014 design by the Paris-based art collective Anamorphee. The alluring abstract design features hues of gold, orange, brown, yellow and white. The scarf merits an Arfon dictionary rating of grade 2B, and it is described as being in “excellent/mint condition.” It is estimated at $400-$500.
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