Les Cles | Les Clefs | The Keys

This year has been crazy, to say the least, and I have not been able to dedicate the amount of time I would have liked, to writing about my beloved scarves.

So to alleviate some of my guilt :-), I have decided to write a little something about one scarf a month.  Perhaps about what may have inspired the design, the artist mixed in with some hopefully interesting and perhaps less “known” facts.

I have chosen to start with one of the most popular Hermes scarves EVER – the Les Cles or Les Clefs or simply: the Keys.

Les Clefs (Cles), Latham

Caty Latham-Audibert designed this iconic Hermes carre and it was first issued in 1965 and due its overwhelming popularity, re-issued numerous times since.

At the center of this carre, is an eighteenth-century green velvet and silver purse surrounded by keys – lots of keys!

This little purse was part of Emile Hermes‘* vast collection of objects, statues, paintings and objects d’art, which he had collected during his lifetime and which became the inspiration to so many early carres.  Emile Hermes*, under whose watchful and playful eye the carre as we know it, was born in 1937, worked closely with artists such as Hugo Grygkar and Philippe Ledoux and as a result, his collection became immortalized in many of their scarves.

What  treasures must this little purse have contained, that so many keys were necessary? Well the four keys seem to represent the keys of a Chamberlain, who by definition was the chief officer, responsible for an entire household or estate of a monarch or a nobleman.

Entrusted with this type of duty, I supposed it would be necessary in order to keep the treasures of a kingdom safe, to have sooooooo many keys.

In either case, Ms. Latham had given us a carre, that has been loved and treasured by many generations.

Enjoy then some of the different colorways, this popular scarf has been issued and re-issued in over the years…

  • I have provided a link to the Hermes Foundation, where more can be read about Monsieur Hermes.

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