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Unusual 1970's Era Silver Metal Bolo Tie Decorated with Butterflies, Fern Leaves and More

  I used to greatly enjoy browsing thru many local thrift stores in Northern Virginia and then realized that I'd reached a saturation point.  I do sometimes stop by my local Salvation Army and Goodwill stores but I don't buy anything unless I either must own it or I can sell it for a nice profit.

  I found this unusual mishmash Bolo tie and likely would never wear it except maybe on a Halloween night.  It's well made and has a collection of butterflies, Fern leaves and several inexpensive paste jewelry shiny glass stones.  The actual coloration is a Silver color and the photos don't show its' true coloration.  'm well aware that this has little value perhaps $20 maximum but somehow it appeals to me simply as "kitsch."  It's unmarked so I'd guess that the individual or company which made this did not want to engrave their name on it.

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Replies to This Discussion

Never seen a bolo tie with a  pin on it. Quite big and elaborate.  Bolo ties traditionally are Western ties, cowboys, etc.

Just noticed on the pin in the center it looks like an eyelet for a necklace...what goes with this? Did you make it?

I saw this pin in a thrift store and realized that this has a dual purpose = I believe as a "bolo" tie or else as a pin.  I'd shopped at every thrift and antique store in my local areas for at least 40 years and I'd always go on my first instinct to purchase anything that I found either well crafted, exquisite or simply weird.  The butterflies on the front instantly intrigued me because most bolo ties have a country Western motif and not this strange intriguing design.  The addition of the sparkly clear paste gems made me wonder why the artist chose to add them to this pin.  I didn't care at all what this was worth but it spoke to me and said "you've got to take me home with you."  I've used that same instinct to score some really big wins and have often purchased at items which I later sold on eBay for over 100 times what I'd paid.  The only problem (as you likely well know) is that I hesitate to sell many of my finds because they're all special in different ways.  Eventually I'll have to be practical and part with a few.  I wouldn't mind sending this to someone else but I doubt many other people would see what I see in this.  Thank you for staying up so late to view my post.

Hi Mark, I'm pretty sure what you have here is a "new old" made up art piece. It is common for artists/jewelry makers/artisans etc to take "found" materials and make up something new from them. The idea being both artistic and recycling at the same time.

I've seen many items like yours at art fairs and craft shows and the like. So, finding a maker without a signature would be near impossible. However it looks to have all older elements from old Costume jewelry, including the big rhinestone. So now you have a piece of "Folk Art" Congrats!

  Thank you;  I believe that there are about 5 or 6 different rhinestones on this piece and most are not visible in the photo due to the lighting conditions.  I'd never wear this myself and I believe that a "funky" young lady might like this because it's clearly something out of the ordinary.  I have poor eyesight when it comes to reading text in a book and when I first saw this I began to look at the many different butterflies, then likely noticed the several different types of fern leaves and then observed the several rhinestones.  What I found intriguing in this jewelry was the number of separate items that had been assembled together to form a single "whole."  I don't know if these separate pieces had been used on other jewelry but I found myself gazing at it for a while trying to decide whether there was a unifying thought behind this item.  I finally gave up and just appreciated it for what it was.

Well, actually there might be a "unifying thought" and it did occur to me, or it may just be "me" seeing more than there is, LOL

But, the style it represents is similar to a couple of things. And a jewelry artist or Artisan might well know what I know. That is the era's of old jewelry. The first being Victorian era, Edwardian, or a bit earlier. Natural things in the world were of great fascination to the people of that time, and its often reflected in art, jewelry and many other items for those eras. 

The next time frame where we see this type of styling is between 1880 and 1920. Art Nouveau, and Arts and Crafts era's also show many naturalistic elements in their time frames as well. So there ya go! Or it may just be this artists "eye" after all. :)

  fyi the actual coloration in normal light is more of a silver metallic color; maybe it was the lighting conditions or my computer monitor that make the finish look like a dull gray color.

  I was going to post these photos again because I'd taken a look thru some of my old finds and came across this intriguing pin.  One thing that I didn't note in this post is that there is an additional rhinestone hanging on the metallic tassel at the bottom of this pin.  This rhinestone has metallic "basket" type decorations on top of it and also on the bottom; the rhinestone was made to be able to freely rotate and can be spun by hand.  I took another look at this bolo tie yesterday 1/19/18 to again verify that there are no maker's marks on it.  I find it very unusual that the person or company which manufactured this didn't take the time to engrave a name onto the back.  I have other jewelry which also lacks a mark and sometimes I can find information by searching the Internet but so far no such luck with this pin.

I have a hollow Japanese porcelain egg that is glazed, carved and pierced, bought at an estate sale of a Japanese lady who brought it with her in 1938. I took it to the Antiques Roadshow, Boise 2015 and they couldn't ID it...so I  know what you're going through Mark.  My gut feeling is that it's quite old but I can't prove it.  There is an indigo blue touch mark, badly faded, on the bottom but no other marks.

Asi es la vida (such is life).

Hmm, Why are we certain that your egg is Japanese? I'm asking because, I thought that saying (asi es la vida) was either in Italian, or Latin. Is that right?

Why would a Latin/Italian phrase be on a Japanese egg? or am I missing something here?

I do not believe Tom was saying "Asi es la vida (such is life)" was anywhere to be found on the egg, he was sympathising with Mark's difficulties in learning more information about his Bolo and gave an example of one of his items he too was experiencing difficulties in obtaining further information on.

Stating: My gut feeling is that it's quite old but I can't prove it.

Then basically saying, Oh well, such is life.

The egg could be Japanese merely because of the artwork painted upon its surface, being that of a Japanese lady.  Naturally, it is possible it could be made elsewhere and merely decorated with a Japanese illustration.

Tom, could we see additional photos from other sides, the touch mark, other close ups of the finer details to see how it was carved/scultped, maybe in a new discussion thread for your egg?

OH, ROFL! Sorry, I guess I wasn't reading things over as slowly as I should be, HEHE! Thanks for the correction. 

Hello Mr. Mark,

   I used to have friends at the local flea market that had (and sold) individual small metal stampings similar to what your Bolo Pin is composed of. These are made of brass, with chrome, gold or brushed silver finishes and are made for jewelers to soldier together to make things similar to your piece. There are thousands of variations of these little pieces, including Art Nouveau, Deco and Gothic designs- that lend themselves to their craft. I believe your Bolo is an art piece made by one of those individuals who makes handmade jewelry for resale. 

The metal stamping on its back looks fairly modern.

It`s an interesting and handsome piece...but I`m fairly sure that`s what this is... God Bless,---Charlie


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