Souvenir of Southern California

I usually don’t collect souvenir scarves, as they are so common, and the quality is usually quite bad.  But I could not resist this great cotton scarf that shows scenes of how to spend a Southern California vacation. There’s golf and wine and sunbathing and the desert.  So how to place a date on something like this?

There are plenty of clues, starting with the place names.  Some, like Arrowhead (Lake) and (Hotel de) Coronado were not very helpful as their lifespans cover many decades.   But then there is the (Cafe) Trocadero, which opened in 1934 and closed in 1946.  That gave me the best timeframe from just the places named.

There is also the evidence within the illustrations.

The two women in sunhats above are straight from the 1930s, while the swimsuits in the drawing below looks more like the 1950s.  But remember, this a Southern California.  People wanted it to look more movie star, more glamorous.

Horse racing became a big draw in 1934 with the opening of the Santa Anita race track.

Al Levy Died in 1941, but his famous tavern continued in business after his death.

My best guess is mid to late 1930s.  Is there anything I’ve missed?



Filed under Collecting, Curiosities

18 responses to “Souvenir of Southern California

  1. That is adorable! How do you plan on displaying / wearing / archiving it? That’s always my downfall- what to do with it once I own it!


  2. Del Mar in San Diego opened in 1937. I LOVE this scarf!!!


  3. Ooo that’s a tough one. I think your date range of 1934-1946 is right and the art and color combo fits for the whole range. The fonts make me think more ’40s for some reason – but that’s just my novice typography instincts. It’ll be interesting to see what others think!


  4. What a fabulous scarf!! Just kind of makes me want to head out to the Golden State for some fun and sun!!


  5. Oh my gosh! I am utterly in LOVE with this! I love the colors and the fact it’s California! Fantastic find!


  6. Maybe this was a fund raising item, for the Assistance League? (I fondly recall the thrift shop.)
    Great scarf, Lizzie! I think you’re dialed in on the date.


  7. Christina

    I think 1937 or a year or two later being close to the date of the headscarf. The design has some deco elements which would be still an influence. The typefaces are really good. I’m interested to know what size it is? I see a bandana-neckerchief thing going on.


  8. Well, as a Californian I would say that this appealed to anymore interested in the good life in the state. Two of the references are not in Southern California at all. Pebble Beach is the exclusive golf course in Carmel–south of San Francisco. Ensenda is in Mexico–a resort town frequented by movie stars. I’m interested in the Assistance League reference–was this scarf perhaps sold by the upscale charity as some kind of fund raiser?


  9. And Del Monte is a golf course that is now part of Pebble Beach.

    I thought the mention of the Assistance League was a bit odd, but a fund raiser makes perfect sense. I’m going to get in touch with the AL and see if someone there can assist me. (sorry!)


  10. A fabulous find, and much as I love the illustrations, those typefaces are what’s really grabbing me!


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