Monday, January 19, 2009

Stealth Brands: Jacqmar

If you're a fan of vintage scarves, you're likely to know Jacqmar. If you're not, but love beautiful things, it's a name worth knowing: a London company founded in the late 1930s, originally as a supplier of fine silks to the Paris couture houses. The directors realized that there was profit to be made with the offcuts, and so began their sideline in scarves. This branch of the company soon gained fame for its printed squares -- especially the wonderfully, wildly creative propaganda themes produced during WWII.

The company carried on through the 50s, 60s and 70s with less partisan florals, geometrics, and scenic renderings, but the flair in the design and the quality of the printing remained hallmarks.

I spotted this one this past Saturday, balled up in a basket at our neighborhood antique vendor's usual spot. Jade-green ground, silk, handrolled edges. "A pound, love," she told me, the price.



Now pressed, its apple blossoms and rhododendrons in glorious Kyoto-esque bloom, the scarf is a fine harbinger of spring.

8 comments:

  1. Well done, it's so good to save these 'art works'. I have just bought a Jacqmar jacket, size 8, wool, exotic flowers printed on grey. Big shoulders, very thin wrists, in the charity shop. If anyone would like it I will sell it for what I paid plus postage, otherwise I will make it into a waistcoat, but I feel bad about cutting it up. It says style no 901, difficult to date. It is stunning, but you need to be very thin. Main colours crimson, emerald, dark blue and jade. I paid £20.00 for it.

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  2. Does anyone know of a good place to source Jacqmar scarves in London at reasonable prices? thanks - Pam

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  3. How much would one price a graphic print Jacqmar scarf for? perfect condition, machine hemmed from mid to late 60s I think. It's very attractive, has the Jacqmar of London signature on it. Does it become more valuable because of the Jacqmar label, or do i value it on how attractive it is?
    Thanks, any advice appreciated. I was thinking of selling it for less than £5.

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  4. i've become slightly obsessed with scarves, it started when my grandmother gave me an old liberty silk scarf of hers, and since then i've been trawling through every trunk full of scarves in antique's fairs/charity shops/vintage shops etc and i've seen lots of Jacqmar scarves, and tbh they are always the best, looking and in condition and quality and are always reasonable in price - until i have enough money for Liberty scarves I will have to stick to Jacqmar :P

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  5. I have one scarf narrow geometric design bought in London in early60s ------ how much are these worth ???

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  6. I have a Jacqmar London scarf showing the bar on the Queen Mary circa 1934-7 It is about 80 years old What is it worth.

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  7. I cant give you a price but .... my grandmother started Jacqmar in the late 1930s. It was originally a couture house, the first private home in Mayfair (Grosvenor Street) to be turned in to a commercial premises. My grandmothers name was Mary and her husband was Jack. Hence the Jacqmar. I have had some of her original scarves two of which I gave to the Imperial War Museum as they are of historic value to them and the others I will be giving to the V and A. Yours 1934-1947 will be of historic importance. Do you fancy giving it away to a Museum?! If not,not that I know but I am sure you would get $150 or more, Note this is an old posting so you have probably got rid of it by now.

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    1. Hi Jan,
      I am just making notes for my mother's obituary and just happened to Google “Jacqmar” to see if I could find any more information. The reason being is that my mother worked for your grandmother in Grosvenor St. in the late 1930’s. She was with her for two or three years after leaving design school. She left Jacqmar in 1939, which was around the time she met my dad (My dad says that your grandparents went to France at that time but he might have got that a little wrong?) My parents married, had children – but later mum joined the John Lewis Partnership to become one of the longest serving retired partners. My mother Margaret (also know as June or Peggy) passed away on Sunday June 26th 2016 aged 95. I have been caring for both my parents for many years now and my father is still extraordinarily lively and will be 100 in September. I have in front of me a design sketch my mum made for Jacqmar, which I will probably display at the funeral. It’s also interesting to note that in the 1960’s by dad and his partner formed their precision engineering company called “Sylmar” … inspired by your grandparents’ style to converge two names … in this case my dad and his business partner’s wives Margaret and Sylvia. If for any reason you might like to get in touch you are most welcome to reach me through the contact page of my partner Kerstin Laibach’s website. (Just google “Kerstin Laibach”). Such a poignant and fortunate moment to have found your post.
      John O'Donnell

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