The Les Jouets Mobiles, Moving Toys, is a lovely scarf and somewhat atypical for Hermes as its theme showcases children’s toys. It is perhaps also one of the lesser known carres. Although its issue date is a mystery, there is some information about its designer, Nina von Bistram.
Nina von Bistram was born 1918 at Castle Krottuschen in what is today Lithuania. Following the October Revolution, her family emigrated to Germany and settled at her uncle’s manor in a small community, Liegau-Augustusbad, north east of Dresden. After WWII, her family emigrated to West Germany, where Nina spent most of her life.
Although Nina studied art in Berlin, it was not until decades later, when in her mid fifties, she took up painting. In her later years, she worked at Hermes in Paris as a designer.
True to her romantic roots, her Les Jouets Mobiles, Moving Toys, depicts various Victorian toys. Soft periwinkle blue and mint are surrounded by buttercup yellows, and provide the perfect backdrop for her nursery theme.
Her art can best be described as romantic shaped no doubt by her picturesque upbringing at her uncle’s estate in rural Germany.
Her paintings, filled with images of simpler times, are lovingly captured in great detail. The artist’s enchanting life as a little girl can be enjoyed in her book, Palmenhaus und Scherbelberg, Bilder einer Kindheit (1998). Madame von Bistram died in 2006 at the age of eighty-eight.