Another gorgeous design by Loic Dubigeon springs to life as jazz Greats from Louis Armstrong to Jimmy Noone (and Lil Hardin) are immortalized with stunning detail. The New Orleans, its official name, carre was part of the 1996 collection.
This very popular design, is coveted not just by musicians, but by Hermes lovers around the world. And as recognizable as the New Orleans carre is, its unusual history may not be so well known.
When it was first issued in 1996, Mrs. Louis Armstrong’s name was misspelled as Harding rather than the correct Hardin.
Lil (Lillian) Hardin, the second wife of Louis Armstrong, was not just married one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, she was a very accomplished jazz composer and musician herself and widely recognized as the first major female jazz instrumentalist.
The 1996 issue of New Orleans with the misspelled last name is widely available. In 2006 in an effort to help support the re-building of New Orleans’ famed City Park after Hurricane Katrina, Hermes reissued this design in only three colorways, orange being one of them. The 2006 reissue thankfully has the correct spelling, HARDIN.
It is the corrected reissue, that is quite obscure and consequently, sought after by collectors.
The 1996 Hermes carre booklet has this to say:
“New Orleans (and not New Orleans Creole Jazz as it is often called)
New Orleans, the cradle of jazz. At the turn of the century the strolling fanfare of brass and wind instruments settled in the bars, joined by piano, the double bass and the drums, for a jam session to wake the dead. It was the age of the blues, and their spirit atill haunts the famous riverboats, why ply the Mississippi, and whose paddles churn to the legendary names of Louis Armstron, King Oliver, Johnny Dodds and many others”
copyright HERMES Paris, 1996