This is a vintage Hermes scarf entitled "Les Ameriques" by American designer Kermit Oliver. The scarf was first issued in 1992 to commemorate the 500 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the United States.
Kermit Oliver (born 1943) is an American painter who studied and worked as both an artist and a postman in Texas, USA. Oliver primarily worked in painting, but is also celebrated for his work as a designer for Hermes. The relationship began in 1980, when owner Lawrence Marcus of Neiman Marcus introduced Oliver to the Hermes company. Oliver produced 17 custom designs for Hermes over 32 years, and is the only American artist to ever design for Hermes.
Oliver was commissioned to produce a commemorative scarf for Hermes and their American clientele that celebrated the 500 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus's voyage to the U.S. Columbus, an Italian explorer hired by the Spanish, completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean with the intent to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia. In his first voyage in 1492, Columbus landed in what is now the Bahamas, "discovering" and providing a travel route to the New World.
This commemorative scarf embodies the monumental voyage of 1492, with Columbus featured prominently. The scarf also features a Native American adjacent to Columbus in traditional attire. Surrounding them are various exotic animals, native drawings and designs, traditional European sculptures, and decorative foods and symbols. The design features traditional European elements including art, crests, cherubs, and animals at right aside Columbus, while native elements such as wild animals, Native American drawings, and primitive art are depicted at left aside the Native American figure. Columbus stands above his three ships that were used in his voyage, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. An early European map is depicted in the top quarter of the composition featuring discovered lands.
An embodiment of the voyage and America during the 15th century, this scarf is one of Oliver's most elaborate designs. At bottom, the title "Les Ameriques" is featured prominently. The copyright mark "Hermes Paris" is printed in gold lettering slightly left of the title. The colorway is exceedingly vibrant, featuring cool blue tones, bright green, light pink, and pale yellow.
Original 100% silk scarf in very good condition with hand-rolled edges. Colors are vibrant, no significant wear to silk. Framed according to conservation standards in a custom black frame.
Framed dimensions: 42" H x 42" W x 1.5" D.
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