What’s in a tag? The Evolution of the Hermès Care Tag, Copyright & Artist’s Signature

Part I – Artist’s signature:

Hermès launched the first scarf in 1937, Jeu des Omnibus et Dames Blanches.  The original issue, wasn’t signed, wasn’t copyrighted and did not sport a care tag.

re-issue in a very similar colorway as the original from 1937
re-issue in a very similar colorway as the original from 1937

All that has changed over the years – today’s scarves come with a care tag as well as a copyright and many bear the artist’s signature.  All three are helpful in authenticating and dating your scarf.

care tag, copyright and care tag
care tag, copyright and signature

Many artists, especially the early ones, like Hugo Grygkar or Madame La Torre, never signed their designs.  Henri De Linares, Grygkar’s contemporary, however, did.  Below is his A la Fenêtre du Chasseur from 1959 with his signature, no tag and “Hermès Paris” without a copyright. Hermès began to copyright and add care tags to their scarves in the 60s, but more on that later.

Henri de Linares signed his design. Here an original issued from 1959
Henri de Linares signed his design. Here an original issue from 1959

Hugo Grygkar’s unsigned Le Bois de Boulogne from 1957.

Le Bois de Boulogne by Hugo Grygkar, 1957
Le Bois de Boulogne by Hugo Grygkar, 1957

Throughout the years, artists began to sign their designs more and more and many have their own unique “signature”. Vladimir Rybaltchenko, for example, signed his popular Cavaliers d’Or simply as “Rybal”.

Les Cavaliers d'Or Vladimir Rybaltchenko, 1975
Les Cavaliers d’Or Vladimir Rybaltchenko, 1975

Zoé Pauwels signs her designs with her first name only, Zoé.

Annie Faivre, another very popular Hermès artist, in addition to signing her work, is famous for hiding a monkey (or two) inside her more recent creations.
detail from Art des Steppes by Annie Faivre from 1991
detail from Art des Steppes by Annie Faivre from 1991

So does it matter then whether a scarf is signed or not?

Aside from being instrumental in identifying a scarf, a signature, or the absence of one, is as much part of the overall characteristic and composition of a scarf. 
Signed or not, a big Thank You to the Zoes, Annies, Grygkars and Rybals, who have enriched us with their splendid wearable art.

Part II – Copyright

more to follow…

© Ladi and Carre de Paris, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ladi and Carre de Paris with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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