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.
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.
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.
Hugo Grygkar’s unsigned Le Bois de Boulogne from 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”.
Zoé Pauwels signs her designs with her first name only, Zoé.
So does it matter then whether a scarf is signed or not?
- Aside from being instrumental in identifying and possibly authenticating a scarf, a signature, or the absence of one, is as much part of the overall characteristic and composition of the 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…
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