This is a rare, coveted silk scarf, issued as a limited edition by Hèrmes. The scarf was designed to commemorate the 1986 centennial celebration and re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty. The design was created by Joachim Metz in 1984, ahead of the centennial celebrations, and this vintage scarf is now a much sought-after, heritage collector's item.
In 1984, the Statue of Liberty was closed so that a $62 million renovation could be performed for the statue’s centennial. Workers erected scaffolding around the statue, obscuring it from public view until the re-dedication on July 4, 1986. On that day, the city held its 1986 Fourth of July celebration, marking 100 years since the Statue of the Liberty was dedicated to the United States. Festivities centered around the national monument as some 30,000 vessels, ranging from canoes to the Queen Elizabeth II, crowded New York Harbor to celebrate the iconic, gifted sculpture.
The scarf was issued in several color ways, including green, red, black, and blue, as seen in this scarf. At center is a gold portrait of Lady Liberty against a navy field, with “LIBERTY” printed just above two gold laurel branches. Encircling the portrait of Liberty is a gold border with the text: “Par la France, L’An Mil Huit Cent Quatre Vingt-Six, Le Quatre Juillet, Jour Anniversaire De La Fete De L’independence Des Etats Unis.” A gold ribbon and red and white border features sprigs of golden laurels, a symbol of peace, waving flags of the United States and France, a symbol of the historic and allied bond of the two nations, as well as spread-wing American eagle at bottom. A gold, star-studded ribbon encircles the complete design, with Lady Liberty’s gold torches at each corner. "Hermès Paris" is printed bottom right.
Hermès scarves have adorned the heads of countless sophisticated celebrities, like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Queen Elizabeth II, and Grace Kelly, but the company didn’t get its start as a distinguished fashion house. Hermès was founded in 1837 as a harness and bridle shop in Paris. It took another hundred years before the company would design a scarf, using the same silk that lined its riding jackets.
The first printed silk, called “Jeu des Omnibus et Dames blanches,” debuted in 1937, and was created from a woodblock engraving by Robert Dumas, a member of the extended Hermès family. Named after a popular parlor game, the scarf featured a group of women enjoying the sport at center, encircled by two concentric rings of horse-drawn buses, and the words above stating, “a good player never loses his temper”. Over the next few years, Hermès’ silk canvases would feature such romantic and varied imagery as sailing ships, constellations, jungle animals, and, of course, horses.
The 36-inch square silk scarves were soon a mainstay of the luxury goods company, as different artists were commissioned to create their own designs with elaborate detailing and bright color combinations. An individual scarf typically incorporates 20 to 30 different hues, each printed from a unique silkscreen in a process that can take many hours to complete. More than 2,000 different designs have been produced since 1937, and vintage prints are frequently re-released in new color palettes.
Overall very good condition, considering age. Copyright printed in bottom right corner, “Hermès Paris.” Hems are intact, tight and round. Silk and colors are fresh and vibrant. Beautifully presented using the finest archival materials and procedures. The scarf is mounted in a custom-built gold frame.
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