Vintage late 50s into early 60s handtailored silk skinny batwing bow tie from R.H.Stearns features a novelty (or, in the trade lingo of the time--"conversational") print, in taupe on red, of businessmen scurrying to work.
Three little vignettes repeat over and over: An alarm clock and steaming coffee cup; a man with brief case waving goodbye as he rushes out the front door; and a man racing to catch the train, his briefcase flying.
The slapdash air of the sketches, and their seemingly haphazard placement (sometimes the drawings are upside down, sometimes right side up) contributes to the droll humor of the print, which evokes one poor gent’s perpetually losing battle to get to work on time.
The ultimate tongue-in-cheek booster for Zoom business meetings—not to mention a quirky bit of nostalgia for the white collar past--the bow tie is labelled "R.H.Stearns Co., Boston-Chestnut Hill", along with a tag reading: “Hand Tailored, Pure Silk”.
The Boston-based R.H.Stearns department store was founded in the 1847 and, by 1962, had expanded to locations in Chestnut Hill and Braintree. The chain was in business through the late 1970s.
Measuring 35.5” long by 1.5” wide across the blades, the bow tie can be adjusted to add another 2”.
From the Boston Back Bay estate of an older gentleman with bow tie collection spanning three decades, this distinctive example is in good, dry cleaned condition, with a faint, residual ½” dark spot on one blade and a ¼” one on the other (photo #7). The exceptional print camouflages (and, I believe, also compensates for) these flaws.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild
Vintage 50s/60s Red Silk Rat Race Batwing Bow Tie R.H. Stearns