Vintage c. 1940 early 1940s silk twill butterfly or thistle bow tie from legendary luxury men’s haberdasher A. Sulka & Company features an all-over print of cobalt designs on a walnut brown ground. The stylized, geometric blue designs—diamond shapes with arrows attached to their corners--have an offhanded, doodled-with-a-fountain-pen quality to them.
Label reads “A. Sulka & Company, 2 Rue de Castiglione-Paris, London, New York, Soie Aturelle.” Sulka opened its Paris store in 1904 at 6 Rue de Castiglione, and moved to number 2 on the same street in 1919. A London store opened in the 1920s, and a Chicago one c. 1942; San Francisco and Palm Beach locations were added after the founder’s death in 1946.
Amos Sulka, a travelling salesman from Pennsylania, opened his first retail store with custom shirtmaker Leon Wormser in 1895; in the course of the 20th century, the store’s notable customers included the Duke of Windsor, Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Clark Gable, Rudolf Valentino, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and members of both the Kennedy and Rockefeller clans. Humorist Art Buchwald once joked that “[Sulka’s neckties] are made from specially bred silkworms which are fed on specially grown mulberry trees that have the distinctive Sulka label carved right into the trunks.”
This handsome bow tie measures 31” long and 2 ¼” wide across the blade ends.
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