Vintage mid- to late 1940s Beau Brummell wide tie from the company’s “Masterpiece” line features brown silk jacquarded in a geometric pattern (of stylized buckles?) with brushstroke-like accents in steel blue. The richly textural ground, with its hundreds of tiny curlicues, offsets and heightens the the satin-finish of the floating oblong designs.
Tipped in cream silk, the tie has two labels; one reads “The Masterpiece, by Beau Brummell”, and the other “The New Utica, Des Moines”.
“The Masterpiece” was Beau Brummell’s top of the line tie throughout the 1940s, and its price remained fixed at $5 the entire decade, while the company’s other tie collections started at $1. ($5 in 1940 is roughly equivalent to $90 today; by 1950, it was roughly equivalent to $52 today, meaning inflation had slowly knocked that price point off its pedestal!)
A 1948 ad describes Masterpiece ties thus: “Triumphs by Beau Brummell in all silk satin jacquard crepes. Smart patterns in gorgeous color combinations”. Photo #6 shows 1940s ads for the ties; note that, in 1940, the “Masterpiece” ties cost $3.50 more than a “simple” silk tie!
The New Utica was a downtown Des Moines department store with roots in a 19th century mens’ clothier, “The Utica”. The brothers who owned the store in the 1920s were in the midst of an ambitious remodelling when the stock market crashed; unable to pay their creditors, they sold in 1934, whereupon the store became “The New Utica” and soon began to sell womenswear as well as fine men’s clothing. The New Utica remained in business until late 1967, returning in its final two years to its menswear roots; photo #7 shows its 1940 claim to fame as Iowa’s biggest retailer of Beau Brummell neckwear.
Measuring 51” long by 4.5” across the front blade, this handsome tie is in excellent condition with no flaws to note.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
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