As an avid second-hand shopper for more than 20 years, I have found my fair share of amazing pieces. Still, I have my favorites. This silk-cashmere, Hermés shawl is one of my greatest buys of all time.
I found it at a secondhand, warehouse sale, where everything was in chaos and the bins were overflowing. This particular warehouse (which is now unfortunately closed) was near my hometown in Oregon. I went there 2x a week during college, to wander and clear my brain and hunt for additions to my costume and vintage collection. I knew the in's and out's of this shop. I reached into the scarf section and knew to look underneath- because the heaviest and highest quality fabrics often sink to the bottom. I could feel the cashmere before I saw the Hermés symbol.
The Hermés Marine Naive scarf depicts the life of Henry F. Smith, an English sailor in 1880, was created in 1992 and never re-issued. Big ships sail an Impressionistic sea in lovely colors. Jet black border adds drama to these beautiful scenes.
It is 65% Cashmere and 35% silk, and an absolute pleasure to touch.
This shawl is 140 cm x 140 cm and is the perfect wrap to take on flights and road trips. A little research on the item revealed its $1,200 original price tag .This Marin Naive pattern was designed by Philippe Dumas and is mainly khaki and black in color with painterly depictions of ships to the center. It is marked, “Henry F. Smith Sailor” on a banner within the pattern, “Hermès” on the upper right and “PhD”as the designers signature. The edges are rolled and hand-stitched.
Recently, I have framed this massive piece, and it is now on display at Sala1
in Rome, Italy. From the floor of a warehouse, to the wall of an art gallery .... a fabulous find deserves to be celebrated.
Désirée Marie Townley
A native Oregonian, Désirée is currently living in Rome, Italy. She started working as a Costumer and Makeup artist in the Opera and Theater industry after receiving her degree in Dance in 2008. Work offered her the opportunity to travel beginning in 2009 and she hasn't stopped since. Everywhere Désirée goes, she seeks out artists and crafts people as a means to understand new cultures. Through their art and their voices, she finds stories worth telling.