We are big fans of scarves and confess to having quite a collection, from the cheap and distinctly cheerful through to a few iconic designer labels, including Hermès and Chanel. The only thing they have in common is that they all came to us with a past via one or more previous owners.
One label with a distinguished past and collectable present is Jacqmar. Founded in the 1930s as a purveyor of fine silks, the London based company first began using remnants to produce WW2 ‘propaganda’ scarves in an era of austerity when nothing was wasted and everything was reused or recycled.
While our grandmothers's creativity was being sorely tested trying to turn proverbial sow’ ears into something (anything!) more stylish, along came Jacqmar with their patriotic printed scarves, designed from with the war effort in mind and crafted from fabric off-cuts in true waste-not-want-not fashion. Some early examples can be viewed on the IWM website and the iconic designs by Arnold Lever are now both highly sought after and eye-wateringly expensive.
Post -war, Jacqmar continued to flourish, adapting to the changing times and producing consistently high quality printed pieces by a number of different designers. The label was acquired by Richard Allan in the 1950s, who proceeded to produce his own signature scarves, now highly collectable in their own right. After the war ended, scarves were once again printed on silk, and later polyester, in a variety of florals, graphics and abstract designs.
We have a couple of Jacqmar scarves in our personal collection - sadly none from as far back as WW2, although the chief frocker’s mother had one once! We also have a few in stock at the Frockery, mainly dating from the 70s, for those whose budgets, like our own, are rather more high street than Hermès!
Two favourites from our Sold Collection