One of the questions I get asked the most is how to date a Vera Neumann scarf. It’s not an exact science, but there are clues in the signature that a Vera scarf always has. Well, almost always, as some solid scarves have only a label, but those are not commonly seen.
I have an article about Vera Neumann on my long-neglected Fuzzylizzie.com website that includes a list to help in dating, but the best source is a post on The Vera Company tumblr, titled “When Was My Vera Scarf Made?” The trick is to study the many examples they show, and you will begin to see the pattern.
Here are my five red, white, and blue Vera scarves. I have placed them in their likely chronological order. My photos are all on the same scale so you can compare the size of the signature.
This scarf is from the early to mid 1960s. Note that the ladybug, which was first added around 1962 is about the same size as the signature. It stayed this way until 1967.
On the next two scarves the signature arrangement is nearly identical. In 1968 the Vera signature became much larger, and the ladybug remained. The signature stayed this way only for two years, when the ladybug was removed. It did make a reappearance from 1973 through 1976 with a slightly larger signatue, and then it was removed completely.
Through the 1970s the Vera signature grew. The one above is probably 1976 or so…
and this larger one is very late 1970s.
Sometimes a Vera scarf will have an actual label. I’ve seen labels on Vera scarves from the 1950s through the 1980s, but there are some differences. The early ones, from the 1950s, are printed in grey. I did not have an example handy, but you can see two 1950s labels on the VFG Label Resource. Note that the Vera signature is a bit different from the 1960s and 1970s examples below, and that there is no copyright symbol. This was added in 1960.
There are other hints as well. Vera’s style changed somewhat over the years. The very early scarves from the 1940s and 50s were often a small repeated design. During those years she used a lot of metallic gold in the printing, and the silk was the thin parachute fabric. In the 1960s, Vera’s style became quite distinctive, with a handpainted quality. The very late scarves, from the 1980s and 90s, often lack this quality and are sometimes printed on polyester.
I want to thank my friend Lynn for sending to me the beautiful scarf pictured at the top of this post.